NRL 2015 season: Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler labels NRL referees ‘The Voldemorts’ Paul Crawley March 11, 2015 11:59AM IF the NRL thought they could silence Des Hasler with a suspended $10,000 fine for commenting on referees, they are in for a rude shock. Just a day after Hasler became the first coach sanctioned under the NRL’s new censorship policy that forbids all coaches from so much as talking about match officials, Hasler on Wednesday sidestepped another potential fine when he gave the refs a new nickname. “The Voldemorts”, as in the bad dude in Harry Potter. Hasler wasn’t scheduled to talk to the media on Wednesday but shortly before the event kicked-off we were told “Des is coming” and to let Channel Nine’s Neil Breen ask the first question. Good as gold, we all thought, this will be interesting. So Breen got it started: “Des, you got issued a breach notice yesterday, what do you think about that?” Hasler replied, with not even a hint of a smile: “Oh, look, well, when it comes to understanding the policy about He Whose Name You Cannot Mention — let’s call him Voldemort — I clearly understand the policy. “Paragraph 31, subclause 2, that you don’t comment on them means just that. “You can’t say anything nice about them. You can’t say anything positive about them. You can’t say anything about the Voldemorts. And you certainly can’t say anything negative. You just can’t comment.” While some will say this was another attempt by Hasler to treat the new rule with contempt, Hasler made another fair point when he was asked if this was how he expected the new law to be interpreted. “It is what they have set. That is what they think is pragmatic and reasonable,” Hasler said. “If you are an advocate for free-speech it is not too good but anyway, that’s it, we will move on.” The NRL shouldn’t be surprised it only took this long for a coach to have fun with the new censorship laws. Years back when the AFL tried the same trick, Kevin Sheedy labelled the umpires “Martians”. Now we have the Voldermorts, thanks to Hasler’s wacky sense of humour.