by Paul Crawley •From: The Daily Telegraph •August 19, 2013 12:00AM http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/manly-sea-eagles-coach-geoff-toovey-was-right-to-speak-his-mind/story-fni3fh9n-1226699450817 INSTEAD of threatening to fine Geoff Toovey $10,000 for his post-match blow-up the NRL should on Monday investigate themselves - because lack of leadership is what is really costing the game at the moment. Toovey is under fire for daring to talk from the heart in the wake of Manly’s controversial loss to the Rabbitohs. Toovey had the audacity to question the performance of the match officials when his team were caned 10-5 in the penalty count - and had a controversial “no try” ruling go against Steve Matai that could have won Manly the game. Toovey also labelled Jeff Lima’s disgraceful leg-twist on Anthony Watmough “suspicious”, and brought up the growing trend of “diving” that is driving everyone mad, not just Toovey. But judging by what Todd Greenberg said in The Sunday Telegraph, the NRL don’t want coaches showing emotion after matches anymore, they just want them to talk like they are part of the game’s publicity department. We were all hoping that when Greenberg arrived at league headquarters the former Bulldogs’ boss could start with putting some football-sense back in the joint. But Greenberg said of the controversy that has followed Friday night’s game: “We should be talking today about what was an absorbing contest between the Rabbits and Manly … we should be focused on the quality of the contest, the skill … but instead that focus is applied to match officials and in my view that doesn’t grow the game.” Grow the game? Does watching Lima rip at Watmough’s injured leg “grow the game”? Does watching trainers tell players to stay down after the slightest of head knocks “grow the game”? As Toovey said, it is becoming more and more like soccer. The NRL has only itself to blame for this trend because they have failed to address the problem all year. .Where it used to be a badge of honour for a player not to show they were hurt, players today are encouraged to stay down because chances are it will result in a penalty. We used to ridicule soccer for this tactic, now it’s encouraged in rugby league. And while they will tell us the video ref got the call right on Matai’s “no try”, that doesn’t account for the fact the current interpretation of the rule needs to be amended. On Friday night referee Henry Perenara sent Matai’s try up to the video ref as a “no-try” (held-up) - but even though replays suggested momentum carried Matai over the line, the video ref couldn’t overturn the decision because there wasn’t sufficient evidence. Freddy Fittler spoke for the majority of footy fans on Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show when he offered: “I would have given it a try.” As Toovey said: “There’s got to be an investigation into this. Someone has to be accountable for this.” As for Matai’s not deciding the game, the Sea Eagles led 10-6 at that point and that would have given them a likely 10-point lead. For anyone to suggest it had no bearing on the final result is ridiculous. As for the Lima leg-twist, it was grubby and everyone who has seen it agrees Lima deserves a long suspension for it. .Phil Gould said in commentary on the night that tackle was not in the spirit of the game. But this third-man-in tackle, where two players hold a bloke up and the other attacks the legs, has been going on for years - and it’s still going on. Like Toovey said, everyone knew Watmough went into the game with a knee injury. But NRL guidelines don’t allow coaches to comment on incidents that might go before the match review committee. This is madness. Isn’t this exactly what Souths coach Michael Maguire did the last time these two teams met when Greg Inglis was dumped on his head on three separate occasions? Maguire said at the time: “When you see someone like GI get dropped on his head three times, of course you’ve got to say something. We’ve got to protect our players.” For the NRL to suggest coaches should say nothing shows they have lost touch with reality. Fans love to sees coaches show passion and speak from the heart - but if the NRL keeps slapping them with $10,000 fines pretty soon coaches won’t even bother turning up at the media conferences. Which, by the way, seems to be the tactic the NRL have employed lately - because no one from the NRL was at the media conference in Gosford on Friday night. If they were maybe they would understand Toovey made some very good points about "growing the game".