TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Bulldogs coach Dean Pay looks on at the post match media conference at the end of during the round six NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs at 1300SMILES Stadium on April 14, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Canterbury coach Dean Pay has been handed a $25,000 breach notice for slamming the referees after Thursday night’s 22-20 loss to Brisbane.

The NRL deemed Pay’s comments as an attack on the integrity of the referees.

Pay was furious with a number of calls during the game, before calling some of the decisions “ridiculous” and “disgraceful.”

The NRL were particularly unimpressed with Pay’s comment “it’s like we’re not supposed to win.”

Pay was contacted by referees’ boss Bernard Sutton following tirade, with Sutton defending a number of decisions that Pay was questioning in the post-match press conference.

NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan made the following statement on the issue.

“The comments reflected on the integrity and performance of the match officials and went beyond the acceptable parameters.”

The Dogs and Pay now have five days to respond to the breach notice.


  1. The whole Dogs’ setup, like Manly’s, is in one hell of mess at the moment. This is the simple reason for lack of success for both clubs so far this season. Bagging refs like Dean Pay did is pointless, it doesn’t get you the two points, it doesn’t advance the team morale, but it does get you offside with match officials for future games — and costs the Club 25 Grand. Pay is not up to the job of first grade coach if he does not understand this.

  2. It is ridiculous that a coach can get fined $25000 for pointing out the incompetence of the officials.
    Sutton came straight out and backed up his brothers poor effort.
    As if he was ever going to agree how poor a refereeing display it was.
    Players and coaches are open to criticism. The refs should be to.
    What makes them untouchable.
    Just another reason why this joke of a competition is going down the gurgler at a rate of knots.

  3. Drew Blood
    re your comments ;\ Pay is not up to the job of first grade coach if he does not understand this.
    are you serious THIS IS HASLERS team pay has to do what he has 2 play with he was the under study 2 Bellamy @ the storm & stuart @ the raiders he is a hunble guy & know his footy he needs to wait for alll this backed end deals to finish & let himbuy the players he needs than you judge him on Merritt deano is a bulldogs through & through
    & was the coach to the undefeated nsw under 18 side a fews years back

    • Hey buddy, suggest you think about the comments before the rant. It’s a simple “A” and “B” thing.
      A: Dogs performances are down because the Club is divided by in-fighting, legal problems etc
      B: Dean Pay looks like a fool to publicly claim that the Dogs aren’t winning because “they’re not meant to win” i.e. there is a conspiracy against them. This is rubbish.
      All that other stuff about Dean Pay is completely irrelevant to my comment.

      • Well said – Pay just needs to show some strength in his character and lead by example, that was a real Ricky Rant!

        The NRL however are losing fans with their inconsistent approach on so many levels in the game under the current management structure. I was a Greenberg fan whilst he was at Canterbury and welcomed his appointment at the NRL, he has been seriously disappointing, the role is above him.

  4. Some of you guys have got to be kidding yourselves on here with some of the comments…

    25k first offence is WAY over the top with no prior warning or offence..
    Precedent shows even Barrett only copped 20k last year after he was warned.

    This is Haslers team. The salary capo issues don’t allow Pay to bring players in he wants and retain certain players. Looks like both Morris boys will be let off end of season and it wasn’t Pay who signed woods for 1m and let Graham go and backended Tolman and Eastwood . Are the dogs in a bit of trouble with cap space at the moment? Of course but there are 3 to 4 people to blame for that Dib, Hasler, Castle and Cleal.

    Look at Mary at the dragons. At the start of the season he said “I finally have the team I want”. Afte how many years. Now look where they are. Who’s now saying he can’t coach?

    Suttons performance and decision on Thursday were biased towards Broncos. The fact his brother came out and said his decisions were all correct were a joke in itself.

    All Pay did was say what all the dogs supporters were thinking.
    Your calling Pay a fool for what he said

    But look who has previously had rants on poor performances at refs just to name a few


    I don’t think this list is foolish.

    Refs don’t get dropped for not performing and are not held accountable or answer any questions for the decisions they make . Sutton obviously hates the dogs since the good Friday incident and facts show each time he refs the dogs thee is controversy . There is one common denominator here and it isn’t the dogs .

    Green berg’s message of talk the game up, before you do that you need to fix these issues and make everyone accessible including officials other #talkthethegameup becomes #smokeandmirros and #headinthesand

  5. Bulldogs simply are paying ‘overs’ for their players. Foran needs to step up and be playmaker. The Morris boys are past being 1st graders, hardly ever break the line or they give away stupid penalties. Dean Pay has a problem when his players can’t pass the ball across the backline fluently. Hopeless with ball handling and passing. Mbye not even trying to catch the last bomb showed lack of committment. Bulldogs were gifted the game twice but no footy brain to know how to close it out.

    Coaches do have a responsibility to say why their team lost. If they blame the ref, then so be it. NRL should never find them, does not make much sense.

  6. The NRL should get over being so precious with Ref criticism anyway. Bad ref decisions are a fact of life in any code. The NRL Coaches should have realised by now and accept that there will always be bad calls in every match. Sometimes they use it as a lame excuse for reasons they lost instead of admitting how poor the team played. But when there is a clanger the Coach has every right to point it out and more so a responsibility to do so to explain to the fans.

    Don,t think it’s just NRL refs that do bad calls, the Soccer A-League Grand Final was 1-0 and the winning goal was blatant offside which was missed by the referee, linesmen and the Video Ref also stuffed it up! Embarassing in the extreme.

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