NRL boss Todd Greenberg has blasted Trent Barrett and Shane Flanagan over their comments blaming the referees for their sides’ being knocked out of the finals series.

“Unfortunately, we’ve developed a culture in our game of blaming match officials for a loss. It sets a terrible example for fans and a terrible example to grassroots and it’s got to stop. It’s time for the game to grow up,” Greenberg said at Rugby League Central on Monday.

“I’m not saying the referees are perfect; they never have been and they never will be. I’m not saying that our referees got every call right, but I have reviewed the games and I can tell you the vast majority of calls were spot on.

“The disputes we’re talking about are on some really tight calls – 50-50 calls – and there’ll be debate and controversy no matter which way they go; that is the game. But players make mistakes too and that’s what costs games and that’s why teams lose; it’s not the referees. That culture has to change. We have to grow up and take responsibility for our own outcomes.

“It’s disappointing that losing coaches think that it’s okay to take away from that wonderful weekend of footy and attack match officials. We expect a lot more from people in such influential positions.

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“Our coaches have a responsibility to the game as well as a responsibility to their clubs and their actions and their comments must reflect that always. Emotion and passion and the heartbreak of your season ending is not an excuse. The game really does need to grow up.

“To suggest that a team won’t be playing finals this weekend is only due to refereeing errors is ridiculous and needs to be called out.

“I’m not prepared to stand around and allow match officials to be blamed as the only reason for a club’s loss.”

Both coaches can expect to be fined following their tirades, with Greenberg confirming breach notices would be handed to them both “in the next 24 hours”.


  1. What a joke I cant believe this.

    “Most of the calls were spot on” lol

    Fark me. Greenberg your a dumb ceo, it was a great weekend of footy yes but it wasnt as great as it could have been with your refs runing some games, not saying manly or sharks win if they get all the calls right but they were both denied opportunities to win at the end. And we do have a problem in our game, the refs and crowds. Your silly bunker and tony archer are driving fans away and juniors it appalling! While agree that flanagan was trying to cover the loss (he had a pre written speech) Barrett did not solely blame the refs, he admitted panthers played really well and we missed some golden opportunities early in the game.

    This is a bunch of trash greenberg you know it, stop trying to take away from how youve runined this great game, the crowds, the transfers, the bunker its all a joke. Your a joke Greenberg, an absolute joke! Why cant refs be held accountable for their mistakes! Protected species maybe wow, I cant beleive the way he speaks about all this as if the refs are fine. The fact of the matter is the tight NRL games are decided by a guess, a guess and all we want as fans, players and coaches is the right call to be made, I understand people make mistakes but this has been happening for a long time its got to stop.

  2. “Im not prepared to stand around while the refs are blamed”

    No you arent Todd but you are prepared to stand around while Manly get falsely accused of match fixing for the last 3 years and it took that long before the police made the statement they had found nothing yet still no apology from Todd or the NRL not even a statement that nothing was found but the police did.

    • Mate’ . . . . The bunker needs 2 replays at normal speed and 2 reviews at 2 angles in slo mo’ then that is it.. move on + a “no call” if the refs dont have a far kin clue!!!!!!

    • I hardly ever whinge about the refs, but you need difinitive evidence to over rule the onfield decision.
      There was nothing near difinitive evidence to overturn the Dylan Walker try.
      It was blatantly obvious that Peachy knocked on.
      Greenberg, you are ultimately responsible for the plummet in refereeing standard.
      Stop trying to shift the blame.

    • I don’t mean to beat a dead horse holmesy but on 360 last night they showed clear evidence that Peachey didn’t touch the ball with his hand in the lead up to the try. I know I agreed with you on this yesterday, but what they showed was conclusive. As you stated yesterday, that decision changed the game and Manly didn’t recover, but as it turns out the decision was correct.

      As for what Greenberg has said. The point he is making is that the press conference is not there for the coaches to come and blame the refs for a loss. Flanagan had a list of things to complain about that was pre conceived which were all blaming the ref for the loss, and barrett clearly said that the Peachey decision cost his team their season. These things do not benefit anyone. No one is saying that the referees should not be held accountable, but they are human and make mistakes, and it is not up to the coaches to berate them in their press conference. It is a bad look for the game, the club and the coach in my opinion and the game should not tolerate it. Whether you agree or not, I don’t care what Baz or Flanno did or didn’t say about the quality of the opposition, they both blamed the referees for their teams loss, and that isn’t on.

    About time someone tells these coaches exactly what most of us are thinking.
    That was a polite way of telling them to shut the F#*K up and cop it on the chin.

  4. Holmsey FFS mate!!! Get over yourself!!!! Every footy fan for every club has suffered some where along the line and they’re team has been eliminated/lost in a tight games. Stop thinking your beloved Manly deserve extra sympathy bcoz they don’t!!!! They had a great season and pretty much exceeded expectation. For you to continue ranting on acting like Manly are the only f*#king victims is pathetic! Get the hell over it.
    In footy there is a winner and there is a loser and as the saying goes “you can’t win them all”

    • And some coaches have short memories from previous finals that changed the outcome . . . i.e. 7 tackle set (sharkies) / knock on at the 10 yard line (Manly)..

      • The hand of Foran also had the hand of Thurston simultaneous who propels the ball back to his goal line while Foran is attempting to tap the ball BACKWARDS…technically not a knock on competing for possession

    • Westie its easy for you mate your team didnt lose as a result of these poor descions, and manly were the victims in this circumstance. But my rant was more about how he is trying to cover up a bigger problem, the refs and the poor crowds.

      • Seriously Holmsey, drink your cup of cement and harden the ……… up.

        Two 50/50 calls go against Manly in one game and Kleenex runs out of stock.

        They lost by 12 points, and maybe (statistically) they should have only lost by 6, but that’s still a loss and it’s not the ref’s fault, not the bunker’s fault, certainly not Greenberg’s fault, it’s the players fault. They played an average game in a do or die final and lost.

        So what does Barrett do? He gives his players an easy out, an easy excuse for losing, and near on pleaded with someone to come and kiss it better. If you want to “pineapple” someone, “pineapple” him for that presser. He deserves a fine, and if I was Manly’s management I wouldn’t be covering it.

        • Ok…


          1 I need to harden up… haha
          2 Manly played an average game… haha
          3 Its not the bunkers fault… haha
          4 Not the refs fault… haha
          5 Not Greenbergs fault… haha
          6 Barrett was try to cover a loss… haha

          Ok this is just too good mate… lol.

          Let me ask you this

          1 How would you react to these circumstances?
          2 How did manly play an average game when the score was 10 all in the last 10mins? It could and should have been 16 to 10, are you suggesting panthera were average aswell?
          3 It is both the bunkers fault and the refs, they got descions wrong so…
          4 Greenberg is ceo and he is at fault to any of the major problems in the game
          5 If Barrett was trying to cover a loss why did he say in numerous conferences a. Panthers deserved the win and b. Panthers were the better team?

          Why dont you harden the #### up and stop playing nice with the NRL and avoiding major game problems.

        • 1. How would I feel? Disappointed we lost, but we lost and end of story.

          2. Uate knocked on in goal, Turbo dropped a sitter, Kelly (I think it was) fumbled running in to an open try line. It wasn’t their best game, but if you think it was, then the refs must have been pretty favourable all year for them to make the finals in the first place.

          3. Maybe, or maybe it’s because you are looking through one eye, and that is certainly a factor.

          4. Seriously? We’re now entering the pathetic

          5. Re watch the presser, as it just did, but this time without the monocle. “Take nothing away from the Panthers, who played well”, and looked down as he said it. That’s it. He also said “we should have (whoops) could have won that game”.

          So will we be cheering on Parra this week Holmsey?

        • hahahahahahahahahahahaha.
          Your still moaning and whining homosey.

          “Why dont you harden the #### up and stop playing nice with the NRL and avoiding major game problems.”

          Why don’t you do something about it, instead of crying on here like a little girl. You have just confirmed, you ARE the type of person to pour your milk in the bowl first. So your cereal has a soft landing.

        • Ah mate look I think we are both over this, you know my view and I know yours. Lets just move on to the rest of the finals… And sorry as a Manly fan my sacred vows are to never support Parra (but if its a storm parra gf youve got my support). Other than that I reluctantly wish you luck in the finals.

        • geez – two “errors” (which by the way no two commentators or experts can agree were right or wrong) are the cause. Wake up.
          So what you are saying in fact is that none of the 11 errors or 36 missed tackles had a bearing on the game?
          Of course they did, but like all sore losers, you look to blame someone els, in this case the easy target of the referees.
          The referees didnt miss tackles. They didnt drop balls and hand possession to the opposition.
          The statement by Greenburg is one of the few things most people will agree with – so ttop being a sook and grow up and live with it..

  5. Greenberg you Arseclown…No one was blaming the refs just this ridiculous system created by the imbeciles running the game…Its simple copy the NFL model because the idiots at the NRL are clueless and I’m sick and tired of people being satisfied with people making mistakes because “They’re Human”…every second ad during the telecast is about betting agencies who sponsor the game..we can’t afford to accept officials making errors with millions of dollars of technology at their disposal?? Thats how how the public bar Match Fixing allegations start…then we have a struggling game in disrepute

    • I wonder if the clown punchers who support refs making constant errors as “only being human” would be so forgiving if it was their brain surgeon who was “only being human” during a botched operation on their frontal lobe. Everyone has a right to expect the highest standard of refereeing competency to complement the highest standard of footy. The fans have had enough of a complete system that despite all the time wasting and technology at their disposal still gets it so often wrong, so very rarely admits to it and then still does absolutely nothing to fix it. The crowd figures show that we are over it and are voting with our feet. Sure the sharks made errors yesterday but so did the cows. It was therefore a close game and the refereeing errors definitely influenced the outcome. That just shouldn’t happen. Fact.

      • Terrible analogy. Brain surgery is life and death stuff, this is a game of footy. Come up with something better mate.

        • Skip the emotional and PC stuff champ .Read many of the comments around here and you will think footy is life or death to some folk. Not me personally thanks. Point is you expect competence and a reasonable outcome at the very top level of anything. Work, sport whatever. No use trying to put lipstick on a pig as Billy Moore is fond of saying. You can try all you like but there’s no sugar coating it. The poor standard of the refereeing is one big factor in the NRL starting, no, continuing to slide down the S bend. Its driving disillusioned fans away and will continue to do so until it is fixed. We all get the human error side of things and many would probably agree that the most annoying issues involve the bunker’s use and involvement. At the very least the referral criteria needs to be changed. A ref having a “bad day” can influence the day of a lot of people that have put a hell of a lot into a season.

        • No PC stuff, just saying it is a bad analogy, but I do get the point.

          Yo are right that we should expect high standards of the referees, no one denies that. you are also right that it is/will/can drive fans away. But I ask you this, what does a coach giving the referee a pasting and blaming him for a loss in a press conference actually achieve. It does the same thing that you have said the poor refereeing does, it drives people away from the game who are sick of the coaches blaming everyone but themselves and their team for their own short comings. Not to mention the young referees being driven from the game.

          Yes, the refereeing needs improving. Yes, Greenberg and Archer need to be accountable for poor performances of their referees. But a coach giving the referees an absolute spray in the press conference has no positive outcome and all it does is reflect poorly on everyone involved, including the coach. And blaming a refereeing decision for the end of a teams season is completely unacceptable, and wrong in this case too. Forget that Manly lost games they probably should have won throughout the year, which may have put them in the top 4 with a guaranteed second chance. Forget about the missed opportunities they had in this game. Forget their high error and missed tackle numbers. The call that Baz was referring to has been proven to be a correct call (the Peachey try), so not only was it extremely poor form from Baz to blame the ref, he was wrong about it too.

        • Agree mate. The coaches giving a spray does not achieve anything. To use another medical analogy, and hopefully this one is ok, It’s a symptom of the overall disease in the game’s credibility rather than just the cause but of course a bit of a catch 22 being if the refs didn’t stuff up consistently and influence the games’ outcome the frustration probably isn’t there to the extent we witnessed. Not that is any excuse at all, but you do of course note that both monumental blow ups came after elimination finals, a stumble at the last hurdle if you like, after a long season. We don’t generally see that kind of implosion during the comp rounds (except maybe Sticky Stewart). It is also a bit wrong to imply that both Baz and Flanno were solely blaming the refs for their losses. Both coaches did acknowledge that their sides made errors on the day that compounded the situation. We totally get that but Greenberg didn’t. He defended the refs by wrongly impling that they did otherwise. Neither coach openly questioned the integrity of the refs, as that is a whole different ball game, but did question their competency. We do indeed need to rid the game of this sort of stuff but that’s a simple fix by applying a gag. Credibility for all can only be assisted by greater accountability on both sides and a definite change (read improvement) in the adjudication of a game.

          The other sports mentioned as not having the issues have far less reliance on the “I’m not sure” factor and hence the bunker or TMO or whatever they want to call it. Rugby Union is a good example where it is used sparingly (and can adjudicate on a forward pass coincidentally) which is not a bad compromise for what is a very technical game and could be a really messy system. Maybe the criteria for referral needs to be changed in the NRL? Wish we had the simple answer.

        • Very true, the level of interpretation allowed in RL is a big reason for the poor state of refereeing in the game. Most sports have more black and white rules, which removes the need for the referee to make “decisions” where they are unsure. As for your analogy, that one is much better and more apt for the comment.

          I do disagree with your comments on the coaches in question though. Baz, in particular, when referring to the Peachey try, said “It cost us our year”, and on the Walker decision “It cost us our season”. Sure he acknowledged the play of the Panthers, but he has clearly blamed refereeing decisions for Manly bowing out in week 1.

          Flanagan didn’t explicitly blame the referees in as many words, but his pre conceived rants message was very clear for all that heard it. And don’t forget, this is the same man who put down the infamous 7 tackle set that helped his side beat the Cowboys to “human error”.

          I get the frustration of the coaches, and have stated that on other posts, but it does not excuse the manner in which they attacked the referees, elimination final or not.

        • All fair enough. No argument.

          One saving grace for both coaches was avoiding attacking the integrity of the refs by labeling them cheats or something similar. We’d probably be in deeper water than $20-30K stuff there. As a fan of the game I consistently cringe at the errors made by the refs, and in particular the bunker, no matter who’s side is effected. It’s embarrassing. Yes I’m a sharks fan and hated seeing us bow out like that but would much rather see Flanno conduct himself a bit better whilst still respecting his right to air complaints and request changes/fixes such on behalf of his club, players and fans. He’s a frustrated guy caught in a bad moment and hopefully harbors some regrets now. By the way, I must admit that I also cringed at his comments after the infamous 7 tackle sets. Whilst I hate getting beaten by refereeing errors I truly don’t like winning because of them either. It’s ok for some to hide behind the “swings and roundabouts” concept but I’d rather see a bit of pain to get things right in the first place. Consistency in excellence is a better phrase rather than just being consistent for the sake of it. A comment was made on here about Fafita’s “knock on” (which clearly wasn’t) The comment was something along the lines of that it has “consistently been a knock on all season”. Does that make it ok though? or should we try to get it right in the first instance and apply consistency from there on?

          Maybe Baz and Flanno’s rants will get the refs to focus for the rest of the series at least even if it did cost $50K in fines…….

  6. Greenberg’s a fwit, and so are Flanagan and Barrett. No wonder the game blows chunks with d!ckheads like these in power and coaching teams. The two coaches are the biggest hypocrite, short term memory loss w@nkers around. Greenberg couldn’t run a school raffle, he was dud at the dogs and is an even bigger dud that’s out of his depth at the NRL.

  7. The refs were bad this weekend.

    The worst one was the JAC try against Parra and to only lose by 2 points to the best team in the comp, Parra should be the ones complaining.

    And I don’t see Flanno complaining about the Townsend try when Winterstein clearly grounded the ball on the try line with his forearm.

  8. Todd Greenberg and his NRL clowns are the reason this game is in such a mess. Always re-active instead of being on the front foot to fix problems. All they can come up with is to silence and fine the coaches. We don’t live in North Korea TODD!!! How about fixing the constant diabolical refereeing decisions and the process with this stupid $5M bunker. And get rid of the clowns running the bunker and replace them with more competent people. Mistake after mistake and no changes ever.
    And the reason the games are so close…because that’s what the NRL wants. instead of leaving it to the best team to win it the NRL and refs like to keep it nice and tight and keep the weaker teams in the contest for as long as possible and hence the 50/50 calls will always come into it.

  9. Refs will always make mistakes. There are just so many 50/50 contests and situations with the way our game was designed over 100 years ago. For the vast majority of the decisions last weekend, the opposition coach called into question the 50/50s that went against his team – no mention of the “other 50%” that went their way.
    There is a lot to like in our game – but we shoot ourselves down by targeting the ones who have the whistle. Every time I watch ARL (or God forbid, bored enough to watch an International Rugby game) it is the game that is commented upon and dissected. The good plays, the outstanding efforts, the clever tactics or the iron-willed defences and scintillating attack. Do these games have mistakes from refs / umpires? Sure they do – heaps in fact! But the difference is we just keep whinging about the “touch and go’s”. Yes – there have been games lost by an atrocious call by a ref who had to make a call on the spot, but every coach has been on both sides of that ledger. No team lost their games last weekend due solely to the refereeing. The winning team won fair and square with the other team having their chances, which if they took them all would have delivered victory instead.
    Referees are not a “protected species” but they should never be in our sights in the first place. The media are soft and lazy – eager for a quick story and lure the all too eager coach down the line of blaming the ref and protecting their delicate arses. The result is another story about “We Wuz Robbed” where the media down South keep pumping out good news stories of exciting footy and keep attracting the juniors by the truckload. Ever counted the number of League grounds that now boast FOUR sticks at each end?

    • rossy1 – a well thought out and well argued comment.
      Very rarely, if in fact ever, do you hear AFL commentators/supporters/coaches blame the umpire for a team losing.
      Rugby should have the most opportunity for it to occur with their pedantic penalties and poor standards, but you dont hear the coaches/players blaming anyone but themselves.
      Football (soccer) can be contentious, particularly with a penalty (correct or dubious) having more influence over the result than a try or penalty in NRL. Once again you very rarely hear vocal criticism of the refereeing.
      With all the above sports, the focus is on the athlete and their skills and actions not the man/woman in the middle with the whistle.
      Its time for dinosaurs of the game like Rothfield, Hadley and their type to be run out of the game. Its commentators/media like these two that are always running the game down, Rothfield and Hadley never have anything positive to say about the game, they are always looking for an angle to put the dagger in. Unlike the Melbourne AFL media who are always talking up their game and their players, the majority of the NRL media are always on the negative and they wonder why the public come up with negative attitudes on the game – they are fed it by these clowns.

    • Very, very well said rossy. I completely agree with what you have said.

      Paul Kent was spot on last night on 360 too in saying that this carry on and ref blaming by the coach (and the media by the way which he didn’t mention) is one of the things that is driving people away from the game. Yes, the refereeing often isn’t up to scratch, but the constant criticising and analysing of every decision only makes things worse.

      and billy, you are wrong on one thing there, Buzz does say positive things about the game, as long as it is about Cronulla, or more importantly Paul Gallen 😉

      • eels – hahaha you’re absolutely right there, how bad of me to miss that.
        I watched that part of 360 last, and I very very very rarely agree with much that Paul Kent had to say, but last was an exception. He was spot on – if the media stop with negativity, it will feed into NRL community and it will be provide for a better perception of the game..
        IMHO, Rothfield is a blight on the game, he is not a journalist, just a muck raker who has sponged of the game for too long and should disappear, When short of story, he goes back into his pre-prepared folder for “The NRL is a joke”, “The Referees are a joke” “NRL CEO must go” stories.
        When Kent was giving it to him last night, he was like a deer in the headlights, the head was dripping with sweat and his red face and nose were going even brighter.

        • There was a time when I enjoyed reading Buzz’s “column” in the paper as it was usually a bit of light hearted fun in amongst the other stories that focused on particlular games/issues. But you are right, he is now just a muck raker who seems to have the only purpose of bringing the game down. At least with Kent he is always honest and tells it as he sees it. I don’t always agree with him, but I like how he doesn’t muck around or dance around things. And yeah, it was funny watching Buzz last night, Kent had it all over him and he was lost.

  10. And one final thing on the reffing of the Cronulla/Cowboys game. The refs demand respect from the players and it has to be a two way street. I don’t care who you support Klien had absolutely no right or place to tell Jimmy Maloney “you have been doing it all year” when dishing out the highly contentious sin binning. Klien’s wrongly voiced thoughts show his mentality on the day and have absolutely nothing to do with the right-here-right-now stuff of that game. He should be accountable for the comment as I’m sure a player would be if they had called him on his incompetence “all year”. What has Greenberg got to say about that? Nothing I’d suspect. The refs are protected from accountability.

    • This i do agree with. Whilst there is a certain amount of respect that must given to a referee due to their position, it is definitely a two way street. Whilst I don’t think it is as bad as it used to be, the referees don’t show the captain’s the respect that they deserve either, and too often talk down to them. One point I will make though, is that the players could do more to assist this by not getting in the referees face all of the time, but the ref’s definitley must share the blame in the lack of respect shown both ways.

  11. Firstly, as I have said before, Manly didn’t deserve to be playing finals footy in my opinion. An inconsistent season caused by a lack of depth hurt as injuries to the 23 man squad started to appear. 2018 will see some big signings and improved depth. They made too many errors the other night and had various opportunities to win the game.


    I can’t believe people carry on about coaches having a crack. Good on them. Everyone wants a scripted “no comment” or “the better team won on the day”… what a crock. Boring. Im glad theres anger and passion. It shows it means something to them. And if warranted – the refs need to be held accountable. Sorry it hurts refs feelings but they need to harden up and be accountable. Its a common theme in todays society that negative feedback gets suppressed because it hurts peoples feelings… boo hoo. If you make a mistake – you get called on it. I know I do in my job. I don’t have an Archer sitting there reading to back me on almost every mistake I make…. They are a protected species and that is just ridiculous.

    As we all know, it only becomes an issue for supporters when it directly affects your team. I personally would enjoy seeing a few more crappy ref decisions and bunker blunders moving forward which hopefully happens to a few of the larger more supported clubs which may bring about some change with the governance of the game. Participation, Memberships, Crowds, Refereeing… its all on the decline and all been under Greenbergs administration.

    We are headed for another Super League in the not too distant future.

  12. Mate no one is saying the coaches can’t have an opinion or be disappointed. And no one wants then to just roll out the “no comment” reply. But they can’t be going to press conferences and blaming the refs for their loss. It isn’t about hurting anyone’s feelings, it is about the damage it does to the game. Sure the poor refereeing damages the game, but to have the coaches banging on and on about it just feeds the media and exacerbates the problem, it does nothing to fix it.

    • ooohhh cmon Eels. You know as much as me that some bad refs calls win/lose games. They change the momentum in some instances. Some have little bearing on the game but some literally win/lose the game. So your suggesting when this happens that the coaches aren’t allowed to call a spade… but when it just happens and its influence on the game isn’t as great – they are allowed to say something… sounds like some crazy political North Korean media outlet where you may only ever speak positively about the leader.
      Its not just Manly, its every team. Its just that your team hasn’t been involved in a season ending set of decisions lately so its not on your radar.

      How about lets call a spade a spade. How about if the coach believes it has a bearing on the game – let him say so. How about letting the coaches discuss things with the officials before they go out to answer questions by the media. Its not that hard is it….? Greenberg is the cause of the very thing he is complaining about. 2 coaches believe they’ve had some calls go against them that went along way to changing the outcome of the game – they are thrown into a media press conference immediately to answer unlimited, uncensored questions from the media about those calls….

      If the refs make the wrong calls – they need to be held accountable. As a coach, if there have been half a dozen calls made against your team that you believe (and the wider audience/media/commentators believe) are howlers – than let them bring it up. God, how did we get to this point where they aren’t allowed to say it didn’t change the games outcome – if of course it did. It wasn’t the only deciding factor of course, no one is saying it is the only deciding factor- but they most certainly have a hhhhuuuggggeee bearing on the games outcome.

      Protection of referees is a ploy setup by the NRL to hide their incompetence. Coaches get the sack, they are accountable. Players get the sack, they are accountable. Refs aren’t even required to front the media, they may get dropped for a week but in most cases Archer just agrees with their “interpretation” and thats just plain wrong.

      This competition is too close for poor ref decisions. The bunker hasn’t done what they said it would and in my opinion has made everything worse. If the NRL is always going to say – “human error” than why did we bother with the bunker at all.

      For the record also, Barrett was questioning the process of the Ref going to the bunker with a decision when he clearly has no idea. This does require debate and has been an issue in the game going back to the “Refs Call” days. I don’t think he questioned the refs integrity so will be interesting to see what happens if they challenge.

    • And for the record Eels… Coaches calling out Refs isn’t damaging the game.

      Poor refereeing is damaging the game.
      Poor bunker reviewed decisions are damaging the game.
      Poor handling of grass roots footy is damaging the game.
      Poor stadium choices are damaging the game.
      Poor NRL sponsorship decisions are damaging the game.
      Poor financial decisions by the NRL are damaging the game.
      Poor TPA setups are damaging the game.
      Poor Salary Cap rorts are damaging the game.
      Poor Sex scandals are damaging the game.

      Coaches calling a spade a spade in press conferences are damaging the game…??? Gimme a break.

  13. It isn’t about calling a spade a spade mate, it is about blaming the referee for a loss. No other sport in the world would tolerate this, so why should the NRL. Baz, in particular explicitly blamed the refs. On the Peachy decision he said it ended their year (and that decision has been proven to be correct), on the Walker one he said it ended their season. That is a cop out and blame shifting, nothing more. What about calling out Uate for dropping it over the line or knocking on in front if his line towards the end of the game? What about Tapau and his silly offloads that gave possession away? Did they not have an impact on the result of the game?

    What i will say, and have in another post, is that the NRL and the allowance for interpretation in the rules is the biggest concern in regard to this. The referees should be refereeing the rules of the game, not interpreting them on the fly. They should not be game managers either. If the rules are simplified and have less grey in them, I think you will find that we would not be having this debate, as there would be far less for the coaches to complain about.

    Finally, to suggest that my opinion on this matter is based on the fact that my team’s season hasn’t been ended by a refereeing decision is rubbish. You know as well as anyone on here that I am pretty level headed with my comments and, on a number of occasions, have called out my team when I believe they are doing the wrong thing. Would I be upset/angry/disappointed if a refereeing decision had an impact on the Eels season ending? Of course I would. But I would be just as disappointed in BA if he rocked up at the press conference and blamed the refs for the season ending, when the team had made a number of errors and missed tackles, had not taken all of their opportunities or had given away stupid penalties through the game. And I would not be on here defending him if he did that.

    There is difference between commenting on dubious calls in the game and actually blaming the referee. In my opinion both Baz and Flanno crossed the line on that, and that can’t be allowed to happen.

    • Thats really interesting that you take that point of view about blaming the refs for a loss – Particularly interesting because BA in his press conference when questioned about the difference in the teams answered “the difference? … the bunker!”.
      If thats not blaming the refs/bunker than I don’t know what else to say. He went on to question why Parra’s tries went to the bunker but Storms didn’t eluding that they had been unfairly treated. Now Im no rocket scientist but if BA didn’t have this week to play, pretty sure he would have been even more harsh and damning in his assessment of the refs….but…. Baz and Flanno do it – its a blight on the game, damaging and crossing a line…. When BA directly blames the difference in why they lost on the Bunker – you refuse to see that.

      You said you would be upset if BA rocked up to a press conference and blamed the refs… well were you? No, because your team plays again this week and it means less to you. Same reason why BA didn’t go off his nut for incorrect calls which went against the Eels.

      Sorry Eels but I just think your being a little too blue and gold on this one… If BA saying the difference between the 2 teams was the bunker isn’t crossing the same line as Baz and Flanno saying dubious calls cost them their game…. have to agree to disagree.

      • Mate, I have wrote a few long replies that havent gone through, either through something with ZT or my internet dropping out. Essentially I was saying that I had not actually seen the BA press conference until you mentioned it so I had a look. All I knew was he referred to bunker usage. Upon watching it, yes he took it too far I think, and I am disappointed at what he said. I don’t think it was as calculated or pre meditated as the other 2, but it was still too much.

        All I am trying to say in this “argument” is that the coaches blaming referees for their season ending does absolutely nothing for the game. If you can’t see that and can’t see the damage that it causes then i don’t know what else to say. As you said, agree to disagree then.

        Also, please tell me that if the Eels get up this weekend you will be supporting them against the Roosters…. I understand the Manly Parra hatred and I get supporting the Cowboys this weekend, but surely not the Roosters (or Storm if that eventuates again) 😉

        • Soooooo you jump on an give it to Baz but don’t even watch your own coach… 🙂 Yes it was more tame but Parra play again… can you imagine BA being all calm and proper if you were out? No way! And he shouldn’t be. None of them should be.
          You say it does nothing for the game? At the very least its a voice for the average punter, the supporters, the sponsors, the club. You say it does nothing for the game – how about Greenberg does nothing for the game. He’s the CEO. He’s the one who’s job it is to sort out the poor refereeing. He’s let Archer go for too long and look at where its got us…. A twisted web of “interpretation”. Theres even youtube videos on ref howlers from this year!!!

          I honestly don’t see the big deal with it. Honestly. If the coaches are told they must attend PC’s straight after the game without being able to speak with the officials at some capacity with Journos firing questions about it – what does everyone expect? You say you don’t want a “No comment” response…. well whats Baz supposed to say? Lie? Whats BA supposed to say when he is asked what the difference was?…. NO COMMENT.
          Cmon man.

          If this is the setup they have been given, I expect them to have a crack. Question the calls. If it costs a game, whats wrong with pointing that out. On the scale of things that damage the game…. Coaches demanding answers in a press conference has got to be right right right down the bottom. At least in my eyes. Goes for all teams. I quite enjoy seeing Ricky lose the plot… its part of footy.

          As for supporting Parra…. I can assure you that they hold a very special place in my heart, a place no other team can go. This week the support will be with the Cows, then the Roosters, then the Storm. 😉
          I can see you walking through the cowboys… at least you should. Roosters will be tougher but if you bring your A game could be interesting. Cant see anyone beating the Storm. I predict you going out against the Roosters.

        • Haha i thought as much. Dont worry though, manly hold a similar place in my heart…. 😂

          To be honest mate i never watch press conferences. I can’t stand the stupid questions the journos ask. My comments on the matter are all based on what i have read and seen in news stories, and obviously a lot more has been said and written about Flanno and Baz.

          At the end of the day we both have an opinion on this which is quite different. That’s cool and what is great about this site. I get where you are coming from on all of your points, i just disagree with your overall stance.

          What we obviously do agree on is that the problem definitely starts with the NRL. All the rules that allow interpretation, that smug Archer who obviously isn’t doing a god enough job with the referees. Like i said above, fix the rules, simplify them, and we probably aren’t having this discussion.

      • 100% spot on with all your thoughts on this one thebatman!

        NRL & Greenberg are totally responsible for damaging the game and not making refs accountable and improving the diabolical bunker process and decision making. Coaches should have a say about the game- its their livelihoods these ref blunders will impact on and the last time I looked Todd Greenberg was not Kim Jong Un – although he is starting to sound a lot like him.

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