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NRL needs to take a tougher stance on coaches who publicly criticise referees

Discussion in 'News' started by Jethro, Feb 19, 2014.

By Jethro on Feb 19, 2014 at 5:51 AM
  1. Jethro

    Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    WITH the whingeing of coaches already starting up in the distance with the season still two weeks away, the NRL needs to sharpen the penalties on coaches who pillory referees in public comments.

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Discussion in 'News' started by Jethro, Feb 19, 2014.

    1. Jethro

      Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      WITH the whingeing of coaches already starting up in the distance with the season still two weeks away, the NRL needs to sharpen the penalties on coaches who pillory referees in public comments.

      Last year NRL coaches were fined three times for criticism, with the $15,000 for Ricky Stuart's second offence of the season after he slammed the NRL’s refereeing bosses being the largest penalty yet brought down in the League’s eternal quest to get coaches to bite their tongues when talking about referees.

      If the NRL want to deter coaches from the sort of criticism which chops and chops at the reputation of referees with the general public, they could hit them where it hurts.

      Suspend them for a second offence from coaching their side for a premiership game or two, depending on the content of the complaints.

      Control freaks just hate losing a little control.

      Some of you will have got this far in the column and be thinking: “The referees get bagged so much because they are hopeless and last year they were worse than ever.’’

      Every recent year, we in the media have cause to report on referees being chased around fields by players and parents or being unable to stop a brawl involving junior players and adult spectators which spun out of control.

      Every year, refereeing participation numbers are under stress because community attitudes to referees and refereeing are so unforgiving.

      A change in attitudes towards referees is only going to start at the top and the 16 head coaches wield singular influence over the agenda in rugby league, partly because they hold at least weekly media conferences.

      While $10,000 has been the common fine of coaches, NRL rules already permit sanctions other than fines when coaches continually transgress the rules.

      Manly coach Geoff Toovey last month admitted to some displeasure at the timing of a raft of rule changes so close to the pre-season, and at some of the changes, including one which limits the times when captains can speak to referees on the field.

      Others were dismayed by a lack of consultation with coaches who are not on the NRL competition committee, which includes Wayne Bennett, Trent Robinson and Tim Sheens.

      Toovey, Stuart, Des Hasler and John Cartwright are among the coaches who have over the years most willingly given their opinions about refereeing after games.

      Last year, a press conference depicting an eye-popping Toovey became a YouTube classic.

      Toovey was fined $10,000 for the NRL found to be “unwarranted attacks on match officials’’ after he complained about a disallowed try and a 10-5 penalty count against Manly in a 12-point loss to South Sydney.

      In April, Stuart was fined $10,000 for an expletive-laden tirade against referees Jason Robinson and Adam Gee when his Eels were penalised 8-1 in a four-point loss to Gold Coast.

      Two months later, and with Parramatta's season running off the rails, Stuart labelled the 13-6 penalty count against the Eels in a 20-point loss to Souths as a disgrace and claimed most coaches did not agree with the job then referees boss Daniel Anderson was doing. Of the $15,000 fine, $5000 was suspended pending another breach by Stuart, who now coaches Canberra.

      Fans, and clubs for that matter, were confused as to why two coaches were fined last year, but Cartwright and Neil Henry, then coach of the Cowboys, were not sanctioned over comments which directly (and emotionally) blamed refereeing decisions for season-ending losses for their clubs.

      One reason was that 18 months ago, the NRL told coaches that on top of requirements that they not must question the integrity of match officials or NRL staff they would be sanctioned if they were deemed to have made “excessive criticism''.

      That was done to dissuade coaches from talking at what the League feels is excessive length about refereeing at the expense of other match-related matters.

      When North Queensland lost a sudden-death final to Cronulla in which a Sharks try on the seventh tackle was allowed, Henry said: “Let's be Sydney-centric. The press keeps talking about a Souths-Roosters grand final. Bring it on.’’

      The NRL ruled Henry had not breached any rules because his comments were related to the media rather than constitute direct and prolonged criticism of refereeing, which, it had to be said, had been responsible for one of the most costly and preventable of mistakes.

      A recent study of AFL umpires found they believe they are respected by just one in four fans.

      It would be interesting to find out the percentage among first grade referees in rugby league, in which many involved in the game or who follow it seem happiest when they are carping about the men with the whistle.

      Paul Malone

      http://www.foxsports.com.au/league/the-nrl-needs-to-take-a-tougher-stance-on-coaches-who-publicly-criticise-referees/story-e6frf3ou-1226830975089
       
    2. SeaEagle007

      SeaEagle007 Well-Known Member

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      This is bs... Coaches have a right to question decisions..Referees should also face the media after the game to discuss their thoughts of the game.. There's more times than not where critisism is warranted..
       
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    3. HappilyManly

      HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body.
      It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

      ― Winston Churchill

      Players get criticized for their performance - its called Coaching :exclamation:

      But I have always wanted the Manly Team to 'play to the whistle' and for the Manly Coaches to grunt like Bennett at post game interviews.
      As any dissent is punishable by a dearth of fines.:mad:
       
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    4. SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      I agree with the edict to stop captains constantly slowing the play by questioning refs.
      However if the aim of the ban on coach criticism is to raise the standing of refs, there must be some change in the behaviour of the refs as well. For starters they should stop trying to be one of the boys by referring to players by first name. Familiarity breeds contempt. If refs want to separate themselves from the rest of the game by being the only ones immune from criticism, they need to distance themselves from players, clubs, and the media.
      There are other sports – and other sections of the community – where abuse of officials is not tolerated, so it is possible.
       
    5. IQofalimabean

      IQofalimabean Well-Known Member

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      Coaches have every right to question referee judgment when they screw up or penalize a team out of a match. Both happened in the Manly/South game and those 5 penalties Manly received 3 of the penalties occurred at the end of the second half when the game was over.
       
    6. Moondog

      Moondog Grey-beard loon Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Some decisions beggar belief. The problem is not the coaches questioning some refereeing decisions, the problem is the second rate bunch of refs we have at the moment.
      At last years Grand Final the referee did'nt just adjudicate, he decided the outcome of the match.
      The officials should stop being so precious, accept responsibility for their own actions and do the job they are paid to do.
       
    7. susan

      susan Well-Known Member

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      This whole evolution of refs/technology is a classic case of being careful what you wish for. In the pre video days the bad decisions were generally taken with a grain of salt and the players and coaches just got on with the game as they realised being a ref was a tough job.I reckon most of the older guys on this site who played a lot of league like myself would agree that there weren't too many times when all the post game talk at the pub was about refs.You expected them to be ordinary and they generally were but you just got on with it.

      With technology has come endless analysis of every single mistake or possible mistake a ref makes which is understandable and unavoidable given the high stakes and the focus put on errors by the broadcasters. And fully agree the current familiarity of refs with players is ridiculous.

      I used to be in the Use the Technology camp but to be honest I don't know anymore. It certainly didn't help us in the decider last year.

      I honestly believe that modern day players and coaches are often really badly effected intra game by bad decisions as they have much higher expectations of correct calls due to technology and it has a major effect on results whereas in the past there was a roll the sleeves up and go get them approach to howler decisions which is what the fan likes to see.

      In any case it wont be changing soon and technology is here to stay. I think the coaches should be held to a higher standard but only if referees are subject to similar standards in regards to their competence.But coaches getting players to forget terrible decisions and get on with it will become incredibly more important every year as technology improves and the howler becomes even harder to swallow. The rant at the end of the game will always be with us but the good coaches in the future will often be the ones who don't sweat it during a tight match,and there aint many of those!
       
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    8. SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      I was interested to see the video review system used in the current cricket series. 2 challenges per innings. From memory the Aussie's made some poor review choices against the poms (not that it mattered) but in SA the home team got a bad decision but had already used their challenges so cop it on the chin.

      How about for NRL - 2 captain's challenges per match, if you challenge and the decision is overturned then you keep your challenge, otherwise you lose it and only have one left.

      Apart from that - no video review at all, not for grounding the ball in tries, not for stepping on the sideline, not for 2 man strips. Everything goes with the on-field officials call, unless the captain wants to risk a challenge.

      Maybe the only exception could be foul play ? video ref could tip the ref that someone should be sent, or who started a brawl, etc?
       
    9. susan

      susan Well-Known Member

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      It is a real catch 22 this one. Less technology definitely leads to a more forgiving approach to refs by fans,coaches and players and would no doubt result in a sharp decrease in post match rants.Many of those rants may be warranted, but don't really help our kids learn the respect for officials that is being lost very quickly in the junior ranks(as anyone involved in junior league will tell you)

      Do those benefits outweigh getting a few more decisions right? In my book yes but many would disagree.
       
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    10. strone33

      strone33 Well-Known Member

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      Jesus they are becoming precious!! Rule changes weeks before the comp starts! I'm so over the NRL it's not funny!

      I only watch Manly games now and that is frustration gas we continually get ... over by these clowns in pink!

      The NFL is run so much better!
       
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    11. Lord Eagleton

      Lord Eagleton Well-Known Member

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      Strongly Agree.
      The NRL seem intent on silencing and punishing all who are critical of them. Even if the criticism is warranted. This will prove to be a negative move in time. Without that kind of public accountability by the coaches the refs will easily lull into being okay with mediocre performances (as was seen in last years grand final).
      It may sound like a long bow to draw but this has parallels between capitalism and communism. Capitalism breeds competition and the betterment of standards - there is no choice, strive for better and improve. Communism closes the field in, silences detractors, creates an austere atmosphere - just perfect for the boys in pink to hide their below average performances.
       
    12. The Who

      The Who Well-Known Member

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      Each week each club should nominate a fan to sit with the coach at the press conference. The coach says nothing controversial, but the fan tells it like it is. His/her comments are, of course, in no way endorsed by the club.
      Now that should get plenty of headlines, raise pertinent issues arising from the match (such as speculating how much Shame Hayne was paid for his grand final), and not incur any fines for each club.
      Wouldn't we all like the chance to be a nominated fan and vent to the media?
       
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    13. Daddycool08

      Daddycool08 Well-Known Member

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      Couldn't agree more - I have said it before and will continue to say well-meaning novices may be good for the grass-roots game but not a professional outfit at the highest level such as the NRL.

      I only watched other teams in the 9's over the weekend as a rule I don't watch any other games but Manly games. I wonder if we are becoming the norm as in a lot of people don't watch any other games involving teams that we don't support. Because it is too frustrating to see blunder after blunder.

      However, in regard to the young bloke or woman that'd referee an under 16's game etc. just for the experience or the love of the game these folks should be protected. Parents need to lighten up and remember the winners are all the young boys and girls who run upon the field.

      It doesn't matter really if you win or lose at that level you've already won before you run out there and gave it a go.
       
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    14. jbb/james

      jbb/james Well-Known Member

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      Refs should have a debrief with both coaches after all games, in private. The refs should know they will be accountable after all games, or at least a link up through the week following the game

      The NRL should also have in the contracts of player and coaches that they do not make themselves available to any media outlet that bags the refs. It just doesnt help anyone
       
    15. Brissie Kid

      Brissie Kid Well-Known Member

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      Why is it yet another NRL reporter can't get through a story without mentioning AFL?

      I saw the Warriors & Manly game an in goal referee say a ball was grounded for a Warriors try when on replay it was nowhere near it.

      No one minds the 50/50 calls going one or the other.

      The coaches and fans blow up at the really big stuff ups but they keep happening.

      Gagging coaches won't fix the problem on the field.
       
    16. MadMarcus

      MadMarcus Local Lunatic 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Another well thought out and carefully researched article from News Ltd...
       
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    17. SeaEagleRock8

      SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Lord Eagleton judging by your aristocratic title I assume your real field of expertise is actually the feudal system ;)

      Meanwhile, 'betterment of standards' may not be a good example of the merits of capitalism.

      If a company can make greater profits peddling a cheap product than it can with a high quality product ... guess which one gets produced?

      (Or do you consider McDonalds the epitome of dining excellence?) :D
       
    18. Jethro

      Jethro This space is for rent Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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      Good pick up there MadMarcus.

      Fox Sports have since updated their article with the right information and I have updated our copy too. :)
       
    19. Killer03

      Killer03 Well-Known Member

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      My issue is again at the differing standards that are applied, Toovey gets fined after a post match rant, ok.

      Thurston basically says in no uncertain terms that there is a conspiracy against the Cows and Qld, so is saying the NRL is corrupt, and nothing???

      The coaches have a right to criticize the decisions, agree the captains need to be kept quieter during a game, but the coaches need to be able to hold the refs to account.
       
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