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Our say: nrl should act to support referees

I AM sick and tired of hearing Des Hassler and other NRL coaches and TV commentators whingeing about refereeing mistakes.

Very rarely will a poor decision by the man with the whistle actually cost a rugby league team the match.

It is about time Hassler and other NRL coaches faced up to the truth and stopped using the men in pink shirts as scapegoats. It is errors by their own players that actually result in their losing the two competition points.

Take the Titans-Sea Eagles match, for example.

The decision by Matt Cecchin to award a penalty to the Titans with less than two minutes on the clock did allow the Titans to edge out the Sea Eagles. It may well have been an incorrect decision, but just because it was made as the full-time siren beckoned doesn't mean the coach and fans can claim that it cost them the game.

Earlier in the match Jamie Lyon dropped the ball when there was no doubt the Sea Eagles were going to cross for a try.

If he hadn't made the blue, Manly would have lead by at five points late in the match and the two points for the Titans penalty would have been irrelevant. This was not the only try that Manly blew. Tony Williams dropped the ball while over the try and another four points went begging.

Jamie Lyon missed a conversion kick that would have added another two points to the score.

Instead of lambasting the referee for being human, why didn't Hassler rattle off a public spray at his players for their errors? Every weekend we have to endure NRL coaches and TV commentators denigrating referees.

No other football code continually focuses on the mistakes made by the officials as rugby league does.

Unfortunately, criticising and ridiculing referees is ingrained in the sport from grassroots up and it is time the NRL stepped in to do something about it.



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