Two issues with referees are giving me the irrits this season, in particular: 1. Virtually every dropped ball being ruled to have gone forward. Many times the ball goes backwards, yet the ref almost always rule it has gone forwards. 2. Needless penalties. There were 21 penalties in the Manly V Worriers match, and I reckon half of these were nit-picking ones that should have been overlooked by the ref. (a) Markers not straight: most times when the dummy half runs and gets caught the ref penalizes the defensive team. (b) Hand on the ball. Yes, perhaps there was, but did it interfere with the play the ball? If not, play on. It all comes back to refs having a ‘feel’ for the game. Penalties often decide the fate of a match, and tries keep coming from the next set of six following a penalty. I must say that refs would be helped by having the option of a 5-minute sin bin for repeated infringements, and the game would be improved by having short-arm penalties (like union) where the set restarts with a tap kick but there is no bonus kick for touch.