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Team Lists

Team Lists

Second Row
Second Row
Gareth WiddopGareth Widdop1
J. McGillvaryJermaine McGillvary2
Kallum WatkinsKallum Watkins3
John BatemanJohn Bateman4
Ryan HallRyan Hall5
Kevin BrownKevin Brown6
Luke GaleLuke Gale7
Chris HillChris Hill8
Josh HodgsonJosh Hodgson9
James GrahamJames Graham10
Sam BurgessSam Burgess11
E. WhiteheadElliott Whitehead12
Sean O'LoughlinSean O'Loughlin13
Alex WalmsleyAlex Walmsley14
Thomas BurgessThomas Burgess15
Ben CurrieBen Currie16
James RobyJames Roby17
Jonny LomaxJonny Lomax18
C. HeighingtonChris Heighington19
Mark PercivalMark Percival20
Scott TaylorScott Taylor21
SEE ALSO:  Dragons ramp up bid for Hayne


  1. Don’t ever tell me there ain’t a conspiracy, that wasn’t incompetence that was clear for everyone to why didn’t they go to the bunker, cmon E47 explain that debacle, RL is an amateur sport

    • Absolutely Kev. Cecchin clearly assisted the Poms. May as well have worn an English jersey. He shouldn’t get a test gig again. Tonga won that game hands down. Disappointing for Rugby League fans and a kick in the guts for Tonga.

  2. The final will be as boring as the first game was and also, I think the RLWC would’ve made a lot more money if Tonga was in the final haha. Cecchin needs to get fired, absolutely shocking calls in that game and the one at the end just sums it up.

    • “Cecchin needs to get fired”

      They won’t fire him. He will sue for wrongful dismissal and spill the beans on how he “was just following orders”. They’ve been using that old chestnut since WWII. But yes I agree he SHOULD get punted!

  3. No, you are right eels47. No conspiracy in the game. Clearly the bunker is only meant to be used to advertise KFC and let’s face it the Tongans had already had their fill. I doubt their appetite will return after that debacle! Frankly I feel sick. RL was robbed along with the Tongans of one of the greatest come backs in the history of the game. Clearly the referees are terrified of a dressing down from Bennett post match. Can you imagine what his reaction would have been if the decision was changed and England suffered their second straight last second loss in a WC semi-final?

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not going to the bunker in that situation. NONE! The game was over. It was the LAST play. They had the time and opportunity to get this right. But I can already tell you that the decision would NOT have been reversed. Why? Because the NRL had an insurance policy, a pommie in the bunker. HOW is that IMPARTIAL? WHY NOT a kiwi official? Did anyone look to see if Fifita had held the ball up in the Widdop try? No. Why? What a disgrace.

    England on the other hand have no part in this and were bloody fantastic and Widdop just as I have been saying for years now is better suited to FB and was MVP for England. I hope McGregor takes notice of this. The Tongans shot themselves in the foot with poor last play options and an inability to convert opportunities into points. Jennings was especially poor at turning the ball over though a lack of patience and poor execution. Tupou’s bombed try was pivotal and inexcusable. In the end (along with a disgraceful refereeing decision) it cost Tonga the game.

    Tonga might have surprised Australia in the final but England certainly will not. I think Australia will win by 20 plus. Full credit to Bennett though in bringing a noticeable improvement to England’s defence (even though fatigue and panic caught up with them in the end). He still picked the WRONG halves and George Williams again would have been a better option to Brown and perhaps Hodgson would have been an improvement to Gale at HB. Roby certainly did the job at hooker and Widdops conversions in the end proved decisive.

    Congrats and commiserations to Tonga and their supporters. Exceptional tournament, outstanding. The atmosphere at the beginning of that game was phenomenal, spine tingling. The Tongan supporters should take a bow for how faithfully they have supported their team and the spirit they have supported them in. The games needs more supporters like this that can create an atmosphere that makes the game an occasion to remember.

    Truly a disappointing end result and I’m an Aussie. If I was Tongan I would be inconsolable. Such a pity, such a disgrace. The game deserves better, the fans deserve better, the occasion deserved better. Badly done!

    • All valid points SSTID , I’m waiting to read what the fence sitters have to say about that one as a matter of fact il Call em out
      I’m waiting for a detailed and legitimate rebuttal to the disgraceful ending to that farce , Ceccin is a disgrace, the bunker choice a disgrace, International RL a Disgrace and I’m not even going to watch the presser but il Call it now Bennett your a disgrace, wonder how nervous those above mentioned would be if Hoppa was in there presence 😂😂😂😂😂 Booooo and they would 💩themselves

      • Let’s not be too harsh on our mates MW47. They took the blue pill and never got to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. We took the red pill so we can see things as they really are.

        Now THERE’s an opening for someone inventive… pills/meds? tick tock, tick tock…

        Sorry eels47, I shouldn’t have singled you out. Apologies. Now PLEASE take the red pill. Join be down the rabbit hole! I have a South Sydney 2014 GF jersey waiting for you in your size. Bahahahahahahaha

        • You’ll be shocked I’m sure, but I’ll disagree with the conspiracy theory.
          It’s not the Matrix, it’s still the real world.
          Firstly, wouldn’t Tonga making it to the final be the fairy-tail ending, and the best possible outcome for the RLWC, especially given the obvious support?
          “Scared of Bennett”. A ref would throw a game, in front of 30k supporters, global coverage, his career etc. because what would Bennett say in the Poms lost? This must be an “off (silly) season joke”.
          I think the ref saw Fifita loss the ball forward, regathering it, and tried to claim a try. That’s the way he saw it, so need to go to the bunker. Did he get that call right (not sending it to the bunker) NO. That wrong call cost Tonga the game, the way I saw it play out, so yes Tonga were wronged but a bad call. But conspiracy? NO

        • @ mighty

          “It’s not the Matrix, it’s still the real world.”

          Oh no mighty, you took the blue pill. The rabbit hole is so cozy and everything is so clear from down here. I also have a Souths jumper waiting for you as well.

          Ref’s and the NRL are unable to silence Bennett’s criticisms. It makes them look stupid. It does not mean that they throw games because of this but it is also pretty obvious that all other coaches are gagged except for Bennett. Why?

          “Tonga making it to the final be the fairy-tail ending”

          How many people in Tonga or of Togan decent follow and support RL? Now how many follow and support RL in England and the UK? Is there a professional league with commercial interests played in Tonga? Is there one played in England? There is your answer. No fairy tale mighty, the balance sheet and profit and loss reports are the only bottom line and the only story that matters to those running the game and focused on growing the game within Australia and overseas.

          “That wrong call cost Tonga the game,”

          But they hide behind that mantra, it was a bad call, incompetent referee etc. The result is still the same for the club or nation on the wrong end. Can you explain for me WHY in the semi-finals in 2016 Titans vs Broncos after several appalling decisions robbed the Titans of victory referees could be overheard during the game discussing the score? “You realise it is 18-12” (not sure of the actual score at the time but that was the sum of it). WHY is it relevant or appropriate for two impartial officials to discuss the score? Research the Zero Tackle story at the time MANY members of this site posted confirmation of having heard this. It happened during a period after a try is scored when the broadcaster Nine normally cuts to commercials. This time they didn’t and the referees were clearly heard discussing the score.

          If the game is to be beyond reproach why can’t all discussions between mic’ed referees and bunker official be be streamed live or available to be streamed after the game? Currently there are convenient pauses during the multiple commercial breaks where the average Joe has NO idea of what is being said. Even broadcasters chose what is televised. I am not saying the game is completely rigged but there is a need for greater transparency surely?

          Now for goodness sake mighty PLEASE take the red pill. 😉

        • Blue pills, red pills, rabbit hole analogies aside, my tin hat was obviously knocked off my head by a flying pig and the NRL’s satellite got a direct line to my brain, hence my naivety.

          I’m not going to write a novel, and I’m happy to agree to disagree.

        • I wasn’t having a serious crack at your credibility, but you brought the red/ blue pills, visions from rabbit holes etc into your argument, so I’ve responded in kind.

          And in fairness, you also referenced having a bunnies jersey waiting for me, and I let that one go to the keeper.

        • Bunnies jersey went with the “Rabbit hole” analogy and lightened the mood. The blue pill vs red pill analogy was fitting given that supporters of the game cannot complain about the status quo of the game and expect change without being prepared to question and the glaring inconsistencies and flaws in the whole process and expect, even demand change. Souths were gone until enough people demanded change and fought to be heard. The same needs to happen here. Like I have said what is the point of a multi-million dollar bunker system designed to improve the standard and credibility of the game if it is not used in such a case as this? Is it an electronic placebo or is it the real deal? I thought it was the later or have I taken the blue pill.

          Finally, I am well aware that I have gone out on a limb over this and I was expecting “tin foil hat” jibes but from a little further a field. It took me by surprise to be frank. I think it is really the case of enough is enough… The famous Peter Finch moment in the movie “Network”:

          “So I want you (mighty) to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'”

    • I didn’t see the game so can’t comment on other decisions , but i did see that last decision and i thought the ref made the right call there, Tonga clearly lost it on a one on one tackle, has for the theory that the ref was bias to allow England to win , i would have thought that Tonga would have been a better result overall for the game, but i can’t bring myself to believe that the powers to be direct officials to influence results, that just does not happen.

      • No, no, no, no penso. Even the broadcasters were on board with this. They said the ball was clearly stripped by the defender (not a knock on again the man in possession, Fifita). It is clear on the hand on angle. Fifita then regained possession without knocking on and grounded the ball over the try line. It was NOT a loose carry it was a one one one strip. It seems these decisions can vary depending on WHICH player or club has the ball and there needs to be ONE consistent ruling. I like many people here agree with the commentators and disagree with your view. At the very least it should have gone to the bunker to be reviewed, surely? There is something incredibly suspicious about the speed and finality of that decision and the referees determination to run off the ground without even pausing to consider his options.

        If this is the way we are going to go give up the pretense of the bunker all together. Referees can make the call from the big screen given the same replayed footage and angles available to the bunker with a direct to the broadcasting producer. Then the referee can explain their decision to the crowd mic’ed up and be prepared to answer questions later in a press conference. There has to be greater consistency, transparency and accountability otherwise it is just a crap shoot.

        • I’ll agree it was a strip and not a loose carry, but watching it live I didn’t see that, and thought Fifita was taking the p… even trying to claim it.

          Sometimes the refs do call tries / no tries without the bunker. This was, IMO, just one of those times that the ref saw a knock on, and it looked blatantly obvious, hence not going to the bunker. I’d agree he got that call wrong (not going to the bunker), but I can see why he didn’t.

          I’d also agree with Penso re Tonga would be a better outcome, irrespective of SL, for this RLWC, so I’d even debate the “which way the game would thrown”, even if I was a conspiracy theorist.

          NO red pill for me.

        • “just one of those times that the ref saw a knock on, and it looked blatantly obvious, hence not going to the bunker.”

          Sorry, that’s just not good enough for an organisation that is earning a billion dollars alone just from TV revenue. Would you accept that lack of professionalism on a continued basis in your work place or in your dealings with service providers? If supporters keep repeating this mantra nothing will change. This is not the dark ages we have high quality video review from multiple angles, instantly accessible and with the ability to even zoom and freeze where required. Something has to be done, there needs to be consequences for referees just as there are for coaches and players.

          Just to be clear, Fifita had the ball stripped in a one on one tackle and the last player to touch the ball was the defender. Fifita then regathered the ball without knocking on and grounds the ball over the line without a double movement or his ball carrying arm first coming into contact with the ground… TRY!!!!

          As I have said the is NO EXCUSE not to send this to the bunker for review and the lineman from that side who should have had a view of this and sprinted onto the field as if to signify he was about to confirm this with the referee only continued off the field post-haste with the referee before any further protest could be heard. Sorry, but we will need to open an X-File for this one.

          Again I repeat. Irrespective of what the ref thought there were multiple protests to at least review it, there would have been NO harm done in doing so. This was not going to hold up a game, it was not a stalling tactic, the game was over the fate of both teams depended on this one decision. Surely there was every opportunity and responsibility to get this right? If this is the best the game can offer they will start to lose fans first in a trickle and then in an ever growing stream. I keep repeating soccer is a sleeping giant that is just starting to wake up. When it does RL’s survival will be threatened or at the very least severely impacted. for the worse. If the game is meant to be professionally run then this is not good enough and the excuses have to stop.

        • Don’t forget this is a WC semi-final deciding a place in the final for the games greatest prize at an international level. It was not some friendly exhibition match. If I remember correctly Cecchin was not even placed well to make the call in the first place and even though a linesman should have been able to assist with this call THAT is WHY millions of dollars are spent for a bunker system is it not? Otherwise what is the use of having it?

        • And now we’re getting somewhere.

          I agree we need to improve consistency, the processes etc, but I disagree that the game is rigged.

          There are too many mistakes, but they are just that. Mistakes.

          2 very different issues.

        • You did not answer my question mighty so I am reposting here…

          “Can you explain for me WHY in the semi-finals in 2016 Titans vs Broncos after several appalling decisions robbed the Titans of victory referees could be overheard during the game discussing the score? “You realise it is 18-12” (not sure of the actual score at the time but that was the sum of it). WHY is it relevant or appropriate for two impartial officials to discuss the score? Research the Zero Tackle story at the time MANY members of this site posted confirmation of having heard this. It happened during a period after a try is scored when the broadcaster Nine normally cuts to commercials. This time they didn’t and the referees were clearly heard discussing the score.”

          I can share an old anecdote I heard from an old footballer (Ian Schubert) who confirmed in a game between Wests and St George referee Greg Hartley gave a penalty early in the game which he admitted to Schubert was an error but said; “not to worry a square up will be coming later” and then late in the match gave a penalty inexplicably in front of the posts to gift the game to St George. He turned to Schubert and said; “You know what that’s for don’t you?” The game is fair is it not?

          Again WHY do refs have any need or right to consult each other about the score of a match? What possible relevance does that have? Is it not highly suspicious and inappropriate? Does it not give rise to valid suspicions about the fairness of the game? After this “slip up” is it not natural to wonder what else is shared between mic’ed officials during TV commercial breaks? Perhaps FOX Sports is the answer then with no commercial breaks but then do we get to hear everything or not? This is why I think recordings need to be made available and steamed to ensure total transparency and that there is no impropriety going on? Does that sound fair and reasonable?

        • I don’t know why the refs mentioned the score, nor do I know the context, but maybe it was because the scores were close enough to effect the game, and there wasn’t conclusive evidence, so they wanted to try going through the process again. But I don’t know.

          I’ll agree with you 100% on anything the NRL can do, within reason, to get greater consistency / transparently etc. but I don’t believe there is a “position” taken before the game on a preferred outcome.

          So let me ask you a question, do you believe the refs deliberately aided England today and/or do you believe there was a “preferred position” taken prior to the start of the game? If the answer is NO, but the refs made bad decisions etc, then we’re on the same page, but if the answer is yes, we have to disagree.

        • Ok SSTID, i was at a function last night and only saw the last minute and without commentary, so i only saw what i saw from a distance, to me that is a no try cause surely ball security from the player i would think is a priority, it came off his hand last so the Tongan guy knocked on, this was the opinion of all who saw it at the club.

          I’m with eels here when it comes to matches being predetermined by officials , i just do not believe this happens in this day and age, i think you guys are reading way to much into this but of course you are entitled to your opinion , unless your a recent NO voter, so debate is good.

        • Penso, from my view (and I have l looked at it many times) it comes of Whitehead’s hand last, clearly). The fundamental question is not this but WHY was this not sent to the bunker to make absolutely certain given that this is the status quo for all other games (including at the WC)? THAT is a question you have not addressed.

          “you are entitled to your opinion , unless your a recent NO voter”

          Seriously mate? So why vote if those that are opposed to this have no right to an opinion? As they say, “Love is love… unless you disagree then the gloves come off”. I think that whichever side of THAT debate a person is on it irrelevant to this forum and opens the door to the type of garbage I read on the ROAR where there was open discussions about homosexuality in RL and forwarding THAT agenda when the sexuality of players has absolutely nothing to do with a RL forum and bearing in mind that children of all ages have access to this medium and would have an expectation along with their parents that it would be confined to discussions about the actual game not a political agenda.

        • @ mighty

          Sorry if this is another novel but it is hard to be concise for such an open and loaded topic. You ask me to do the impossible, I am not WikiLeaks mate. I do not have access to secret documents that would blow the lid off this. All I can do (like in a court of law) is establish motive and opportunity and find some forensic evidence to bring these two together. There is NO “smoking gun” for this. Of course there is not. To go into detail otherwise is firmly in the realm of tin foil hats and using crystals for alternative therapy. Look I cannot carve a statue from marble, everyone’s opinion here seems to be set in stone hence my reference to the blue and red pills in the matrix.

          Refs making bad decisions is one thing, it has been happening for over 100 years but refusing to go to the bunker to put all doubt to rest was not a mistake it was a choice, a choice against standard NRL policy.

          Q. Do you believe the refs deliberately aided England today?

          No despite mounting evidence to the contrary. I don’t think that there is any real question that penalty counts in balance tend to “get square” at some occasion. Whether there is any intentionality in this or it is just due to a shift of focus by the referees who can say but it is rare to see a lop sided penalty account without a period where the is a run of penalties the other way to even things up to some extent. Clearly this happened at the back end of the game when Tonga were down 20-0 with just 7 mins to go. The shift in the penalty count assisting in changing the momentum of the game which began to amplify the energy and urgency of Tonga and fatigue England. This momentum built to the point that it became an overwhelming tide that the English could not counter and what only 6 mins before seemed an insurmountable deficit became a distinct possibility.

          I have already built the case for how the game is more advantaged by an English rather than Togan victory and also that the game needs to grow and can least afford to lose it’s foothold in QLD, Melbourne and England. Motive, opportunity and the evidence that the formal and established process of video review was inexplicably abandoned in this instance, why? Also, rather than stand and explain their decision to the losing captain (as is often the case) the officials chose to make a hurried exit from the field. The fact that the penalty count favoured England for most of the game and saw England go almost 20 mins into the game without conceding a penalty while Tonga where hammered in this area is also a point of contention. Many here have also expressed (even though agreeing with the final call) that Tonga suffered a lot of bad calls.

          In summary, I cannot say that there is a conspiracy there is no conclusive evidence to support this but patterns continue to show that something is not right. Looking at the Inglis triple knock on try in SOO and the Inglis/JT 2 man strip against Hayne, when was the last time that NSW won an origin series or game for that matter under controversial circumstances? Evidence continues to mount but there is no proof so therefore no conspiracy. Likewise in the face of all of this, there is no transparency either. Until such a time there will be crazy talk of conspiracies while RL supporters continue to feel disenfranchised and excluded from this process.

      • @ penso

        “i can’t bring myself to believe that the powers to be direct officials to influence results, that just does not happen.”

        Read my post above to mighty. Explain to me WHY two referees need to discuss the score of a game EVER! Why should that be necessary? I have already said I am not taking the quantum leap to suggest that all games are rigged but I also find it hard to believe in that degree of continued systemic incompetence decade after decade. The Greg Inglis triple knock on in front of Bill Harrigan to win QLD a game and origin series. There were multiple views and time to get the call right and it was clear to a blind circus monkey! There have been MANY other howlers over time. Now with video review there is NO EXCUSE to get this wrong or for inconsistency. Referees are forced to make a call before going upstairs even if they were unsighted in the first place or 20 metres behind play, a decision which will ultimately influence the end result of the video review if video refs are uncertain or too scared to make the call.

        How is it that the bunker also pick and chose when they overrule refs calls? At times they chose to and other times they pass. Sometimes they will look at and review aspects of the play that the referee has not asked for. Surely there needs to be consistency in this process?

        • Also penso, what about the Rabbitohs round 8 (ANZAC Round) loss to the Broncos (25-24) after Milford clearly dropped the ball from a low wayward pass picked it off the ground and kicked the winning field goal in the last minute? HOW could they get THAT wrong? There are too many examples of decisions that cost games and are either defended despite evidence that they were wrong or are written off as incompetence or “they got that one wrong”. A live call I can understand but not a zoomed in video replay from multiple angles that clearly show the ball hitting the ground then being again knocked on in an attempt to grasp the ball before being picked up. THAT was NOT a mistake mate!

        • SSTID, the NRL fiddled with the video ref every year, remember when the video ref was pulling up games every second for any minor incident, everyone complained and so the NRL restricted their involvement , this could explain why the video ref did not intervene in the Milford knock on.
          History tells us that refs have been biased in lots of games, no one can argue that, but what EELS and myself wish to ask everyone, do you honestly believe that the NRL direct refs to influence results? no way we say, not in this day and age anyway, that is the point we are trying to get across

  4. All valid points above!

    I have said it for so long now and will say it again, RL will never grow as a sport because bias and discrimination (whether it be skin colour or otherwise) will always haemorrhage the wonderful game! I have never come across a game that is always plighted by powerbrokers and individuals above who rob the purity of the game. Any other sport that tries it gets exposed, but RL along with SL and NRL is always protected or disguised.

    Today’s debacle was a clear example. I love the reference to the blue / red pill 💊 above! The people who can see things for what they are by taking the red pill being evidence will never fall for blurred lines or conspiracies. It’s the ones who take the blue pill are the ones who are ignorant with their heads in the sand.

    Why is it that everytime there is Cam Smith or protected players, Pappa Smurf or the England team involved in a contest, there are inconsistencies and debacles left right and centre? Because the game as always a vested one sided interest in them and more so, the administrators of the game are backward thinking monkeys who don’t have a governing nuance to them even if their life dependent on it.

    Utter shambolic what has transpired today. Tonga have been robbed. Many other teams have been robbed. It’s been happening far too regularly in many competitions. It’s about time there was a hardliner neutral straight shooter person who came in and administers the game on all levels. Someone like John O’Neil and cleans up this nepotism, favouritism, bias, discriminative culture that has plagued this great great game!

    This game needs to be neutralised to be showcased on merits and not influenced.

    I say boycott the final 😂😂😂

    Who am I kidding! Majority have taken the blue 💊 and don’t know what’s down the rabbit hole.

    One thing is for sure I hope Josh Hodgson will be injury free. Raiders go forward depends on him in 2018.

    Raiders 2018!

    Rant over!

    Enjoy my fellow zero tackle members 😀

    • Bravo greenlabel, absolutely top notch response! You have expressed this far better than anything I have said and from the point of view of one of the minnow nations effected it carries all the more weight. Again I repeat, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not having the bunker review this and equally no excuse for having an English video referee in the bunker. If this was a horse race there would be a stewards inquiry. Sea Eagles fans, Toovey was right; “There needs to be an INVESTIGATION!”

      At the very least Tonga should make an official protest and better still threaten a legal appeal over “irregularities in the consistency of the rules and bunker review procedure”. I think if this went legal it would rock the game and make the refereeing officials and administrators more accountable by emphasising the need for greater consistency and transparency in all processes. It is simply unacceptable that referees to not have to answer for their poor decisions and IMO should face the cauldron of a media press conference after the game to answer questions (with video review available). Given the bunker backup system they have ZERO excuse for getting this wrong!

      The fact of the matter is that NZ RL is propped up by Australia otherwise it would have long since perished. Apart from Australia and NZ, England is the only other place in the world where RL has a strong following (although it is actually a small minority in the UK compared to soccer and Rugby Union). Success for England on a world stage has been LONG overdue (22 years overdue) and I think that the eligibility rules were stretched to weaken NZ and clear a pathway for England into a final. THAT is why England were in the same pool as Australia so that they would end up on the opposite side of the draw and not have to meet Australia again until the final. I don’t think the NRL actually expected Fiji or Tonga (or Lebanon either for that matter who were also robbed TWICE!) to do so well.

      But hey, what does it all matter, England get to play Australia in the final for the first time in 22 years so that has to be good for the game right? And Pappa Smurf gets to come out as a super coach and hero for doing the impossible and getting England to the final. Nothing to see here. Move along. Lift mat and sweep.

  5. Been trying to think of the right words to describe Cecchin’s performance, it was beyond disgraceful, it was shameful. There’s always going to be the odd decision that goes the wrong way but so many shockers from Cecchin beggared belief. It really did look like he was out there to make sure England advanced to the final. They’ll say it never happens in Rugby League, referees helping teams win but sometimes, like today, you can’t help but wonder. All credit to Tonga, they won that game.

  6. I’ve watched the replay a few times now, a hand was on the ball but for me that was a loose carry and a knock on everyday of the week.

    • I might add that I think Tonga were on the end of some dud calls during that game but the last one wasn’t one of them.

    • I can respect that that is your point of view it is not mine. For mine Fifita had the ball in tight and the hand came from behind and knocked it out (backwards for the defender and forwards for Fifita who was not the last to touch it). Not a loose carry, a one on one strip and the ball was still in play. For mine Fifita scored.

      Truthfully now, are you the same hardyards from the ROAR?

      • I forgot to ask hardyards, do you or do you not agree that this should have been sent to the bunker? Given the gravity of the decision in deciding the fate of either team in a WC semi-final and that play was over. Also that, IMO, the referee was not in place to make the call. Would there have been any harm for the sake of fairness and transparency in going to the bunker to review the decision. Yes or No?

        • Nope, not on the Roar.

          I’m in 2 minds about it. Due to the magnitude of the outcome it probably should have gone to the bunker, but I also think the ref got the call right so why should it have gone to the bunker?

          My biggest concern, as a saints supporter, is what does MacGregor do about Widdops form at fullback.

    • I’ve looked at the video footage yet again (see link below) and “unless my understanding of the stripping rule/loose carry rule” is incorrect, that is a try. The ball is knocked out by Elliott Whitehead (clearly the ball was played at by the defender in a downward motion stripping the ball) it does not touch Fifita coming out. Fifita regains possession on the bounce and gathers the ball onto his leg NOT knocking the ball on (the ball is still in play), he regathers the ball in one motion and grounds it over the try line…

      “I have a decision and I’m going to the board… TRY!!!” – Sponsored by KFC!

  7. I am not going to write a novel on it, but i will agree on one thing, given the importance of the decision it should have gone to the Bunker. However, it would have gone as a no try and the decision would not have changed. It was a loose carry and the English player was attempting a tackle. In the end the correct decision was made, but it was worth a check.

    MW47, no fence sitting here mate, my opinion just differs from yours, why is that not allowed?

    • Who said it wasn’t allowed ? The question is E47 “conspiracy “ which you call “inconsistency “ spare me , the ref would have called “no try” fair call but the ref called “try” in the Manly v Penrith semi and without any capacity to prove on field ref wrong that’s exactly what was called, the fact remains why a “seasoned” Ref a ref with SOO and GF experience didn’t go to the bunker ? Simple it’s a minnow nation , or in NRL terms a struggling side such as NZ , Newie, Wests, Titans and regardless how they go Canberra Raiders, 2013 quote Gus Gould “ ideal GF would be Easts v Souths” before a ball was kicked , Easts finished 14th in 2012 reg season we all witnessed what happened during that disgrace and fast forward to last night , THEY GOT THERE “IDEAL WC FINAL “ RL is garbage , last night goes along way to answer why people are leaving

      • If you feel that strongly about it don’t watch, no one is forcing you to 😉

        I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory and you won’t convince me otherwise with incidents that you believe were pre conceived. It is obvious for everyone to see that the officiating in the gane is full of errors and incosistencies, that is not evidence of conspiracy.

        I disagree about the ideal final too, Tonga would have created a lot more interest than England. We now have a boring final on our hands.

        • No eels47, no it would not have. Think about the game in England and the number of English SL supporters who have been waiting 22 years for this. It is the old glory days of the game come alive again, the classic battle against “the old enemy”, England vs Australia. I think you are wrong in your view that a Tonga vs Australia final would have generated more interest worldwide. IMO I think it is naive to think otherwise given the size of the following of the game in England and with English ex-pats around the world and also with those out here for the Ashes test. In saying this I am well aware I will not be able to influence your views as they appear set in stone.

      • I just watched your replay SSTID, and that decision was right, the English player was making a tackle not attempting to strip the ball regardless of what the commentators said , Fifita lost it and if we keep giving tries on slack ball security this game will only get worse.

        Sorry but i’m with the Parra boys on this.

        • penso, look at the replay again then Whitehead reacts late and realising that Fifita is already through the gap and unable to turn and catch him in time he dives and ONLY plays at the ball and Fifita’s arm. He was little chance of effecting a tackle and he knew it. It was a desperate last ditch effort but any thought of a tackle seemed a secondary concern.

          The only questions are what constitutes a loose carry and whether such an attack on the ball is typically called against the player in possession or the defender?

          There is no question though about whether or not this should have been sent to the bunker. It seems all here unanimously agree that it should have.

          We will see hundreds of these next year and I will be warching to see how many that result in a try are referred to the bunker and what ruling will be applied.

        • penso, see my post at the bottom. Tony Archer just said I am wrong so I must be, because the boss of referees must be right, surely?

    • @ eels47

      “I am not going to write a novel on it, ”

      You forgot to reference your source, mighty already said that (above).

      As for a novel, I know. Guilty as charged. I feel strongly about this and it is very difficult encapsulate a complex argument in just a few words and still do it justice.

      I will leave it at that then. I am exhausted having to constantly swim against the rip and tide of “popular opinion”. The quote from tge movie “Network” sums it up for me.

  8. Don’t watch ! Ha ha that’s exactly the response a lemming is trained to give when they can’t answer a legitimate question on the obvious ,
    Fact is had that been last play for Australia regardless it would have at least gone up for review, there are some who can see what’s in front of them and some who can’t because they don’t want to , if you believe there arnt agendas in sport you are misguided, the biggest sport on the planet is corrupt ! RL is no different

    • Forgot to add , you can disagree with the ideal GF , fact Gus said it in 2013 , in lead up to season kickoff , you can’t change that , refs discussing score during Bris v Titans Semi you can’t change that , you can only choose to ignore it , and that’s your choice don’t insult anyone who questions facts with your interpretations

    • Said tongue in cheek mate. But maybe you could try responding to those who disagree with you without resorting to any name calling.

      What question haven’t I answered. You call conspiracy I disagree. Pretty simple really.

    • Why tongue in cheek ? Because you can’t use facts to support your argument! Lemming is that offensive? If so I apologise! I still can’t understand how you call inconsistency I find that offensive, had that been Australia would ceccin have gone to bunker ? Ans me that with honesty

      • MW47 , no i don’t believe he would have , for crying out loud don’t create arguments based on hypothetical assumptions, stick to the facts, you have your opinion and we have ours.

        • And fair enough. The main complaint from MW47, greenlabel and myself is that at the very least this should have been reviewed by the bunker and all here seem to be in agreement with that.

  9. Didn’t say it was offensive. But still not needed. And for the record you haven’t provided any FACTS to support your argument, it is all your opinion. As for the no bunker call, i have no idea if he would have went for Australia, neither do you though. In all honesty he probably would have but does not convince me of any conspiracies.

    • Ok il simplify it for you , should it have been used E47 , what are your expectations in regards to this ?
      One more and il leave it at that
      Should refs be discussing score line amongst each other during a game (not just any game a SF) how would this be perceived by those who hear such discussion?

      • I already said they should have used it in my first comment. And no, the ref should not be discussing the score, but it doesn’t prove any conspiracy, just that they make mistakes.

        All good with leaving it. Let’s concentrate on the boring final next week that will likely put us all to sleep 😂

        • Based on current form so far, Australia will put England to sleep in the first 20 mins which is just about as long as Pappa Smurf lasts before his first nap!

        • the only question mw47 eels is asking, do you believe the NRL influence refs to make certain outcome in games happen? that is all he has been asking saying all along, you just don’t get it but i can understand why.

        • Yes ! Just like you can find common ground with same sex marriage and Rugby League
          For the last time had it been Australia ,Qld , Bris or cam smith the ref would have involved bunker , if you had a brain you would have realised what I’ve been trying to say , one rule for one ,another for the rest
          I never debated whether ball was knocked on ,

    • Mmm no facts to support my argument
      Fact : as a result of play the possibility that a scoring play which WILL AFFECT the result of the game has occurred , IT WASNT REVIEWED USING SAFE GUARDS AND SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO ENSURE CONSISTENCY IN OUTCOMES AND FAIRNESS IN PLAY

      • Hmm so much for leaving it hey? That is not a fact that there is a conspiracy. He made a call on the run, something most ask for more of mind you. Yes, given the gravity of the deciaion he probably should have referred it , but it is definitely not prove of a conspiracy.

        • MW, as per 1 of my comments above, I can see exactly why the ref didn’t go to the bunker, but with the benefit of hindsight he should have. That doesn’t make it a conspiracy, just a bad call, with the benefit or hindsight.

          I’d also agree with Eels47, in that your “interpretation” of “facts” doesn’t prove a conspiracy. “Gus said”, and that in it’s self may be a fact, but it doesn’t prove anything. For the record Gus says so much that eventually he will get so,etching right, and that’s law of averages.

          So based on “facts” it’s obvious England making it to the final is better than Tonga (which I’d argue is a poor call), the NRL favoured the Panthers over Manly (well everyone hates Manly, even the NRL so it would seem), oh yeah, and the perfect grand final would be the Storm vs the Cowboys to be held in Sydney.

        • You stall haven’t ans my question on perception so il ans for you
          The perception based on the refs calls during last play of WC semi involving Tonga and England denying Tonga a review that may have changed the out come of the game is that International RL can’t handle the though of a minnow nation progressing further in this competition than a perceived power house nation , therefore denying it any possibility of achieving victory using normal processes to ensure fairness , balance and equity to produce a fair honest result, that may not be enough to convince conspiracy but it doesn’t disprove it either

        • Mighty , up until 2018 CH9 have dictated who appears on free to air, there influence on the draw is questionable, Commentary, Refs have slowly wormed there way into the fabric of the game and on a daily basis encourage with opinion “ideal” scenarios, Melb v Cowboys is an ideal outcome , Cronks departure, cam smiths achievements , the fairy tail 8th place victor , seriously did you even watch the GF ? A tale of 2 halves not dictated by competing sides but by delivery of adjudication from the whistle in the centre , spare me ! What experienced commentator could possibly predict a premiership year on the back of coming second last the year before , you can’t see it because you have chosen to close your eyes

        • Valid points re the Storm, but it doesn’t prove anything, and they were by far the strongest side all year, but the Cowboys, just because they finished eighth? Now that’s a stretch.

          Based on your theories maybe Manly have won so many premierships because the NRL is sick of all the winging when they don’t. I don’t believe that, the part about the NRL conspiring to get Manly premierships, but I’ve seen the winging first hand.

        • were there’s smoke there’s normally something burning, remind us all who owned Melb Storm during there salary cap disgrace , add to that why Andrew Gee has yet to front up for his systematic salary cap indescretions , nope nothing to see here , the games clean , who was in charge at the Dogs during there betting saga ? Mmm but a recent investigation into other clubs found nothing , quite convenient

  10. So I didn’t see the game and saw 1 quick replay of the last piece of controversy.
    Surely the problem isn’t whether the decision was correct or not or if it was a try or not, simply just the fact, refs check everything these days to the point we all complain, so simply when the game is over, under that much player protest and for a World Cup final spot up for grabs, why oh why didn’t they just check. Atleast then if the video red checks and gets it wrong, well it’s his opinion, but to not check at all well that leaves so many more questions

    • Thanks crowy. Exactly the point I have been trying to make. Why does the game need the bunker otherwise if they just pick and choose where to use it? Like I said it was the same English bunker official that made several (and in IMO incorrect) rulings that cost Lebanon victory against England. Again, for the sake of impartiality an English ref/bunker official should NOT have been involved to remove any question of bias. That said, and for THIS reason, I believe that had this gone to the bunker the bunker would NOT have overruled the on field call despite clear video evidence that would have supported a TRY being given. Had he done otherwise he would not have been able to return to England! It is a ridiculous position that the NRL have allowed themselves and these officials to be put in and it is not a good look for the game if they are trying to promote the growth of RL abroad. Quite frankly it looks unprofessional and haphazardly run.

      Please tell me someone, anyone, that had it been Australia and Cam Smith in the referees face that the same thing would have happened? That the referee would have ignored Smith’s request for a review the play and if so what would have been the consequences? That the Australian captain would not have given any interviews for the next dozen or so weeks just like his reaction to his treatment by the media following the Alex McKinnon affair when he had a self-imposed media ban and the NRL did NOTHING about it? I don’t think so.

      • And the answer is simple. It’s called a mistake.

        No conspiracy, a mistake.

        Would it have been different if it was Cam? Probably, but that doesn’t make it a conspiracy. I could agree that would be a form of bias, not a conspiracy, but the bias isn’t toward an outcome.

        Tries / no tries decisions are made every game, incl. tries that were awarded to Tonga late in the game yesterday, without going to the bunker. The bunker is there as a resource for the on field refs. They don’t have to use, and sometimes when they do they get crucified, and sometimes when they don’t they get crucified.

        In all honesty, watching that final play live (in real time) I wouldn’t have gone to the bunker, because it looked blatantly obvious Fifita knocked on and re gathered, and I was leaping out of my chair hoping for Tonga to pull off a miracle of all miracles late in that game.

        MW, it’s clear to me you believe in the massive conspiracy theory, and I disagree.

        Crowy and SSTID, I think your arguments are more about inconsistency, too many mistakes (mistakes being the operative word), and if that’s the case, I’m all for improving the system as much as practical, so at least in part, I agree. But if you believe it goes deeper than that, then I disagree. ,

        • I don’t believe in conspiracy, your offensive stating that I do believe there are agendas and with the fact Rugby League has no rules just interpretations means you have a great capacity to influence outcomes , would have been different for cam smith is proof that the game has serous flaws not incompetence

        • MW, that comment wasn’t meant to be offensive, so I apologise. The way I see it, you’re views are very strongly toward deliberate / structural manipulation. If that’s not the case, then I’ve misinterpreted your view.

          Maybe there are 3 separate issues:

          Outright manipulation. Game fixing, a bias towards per determined preferred outcomes etc. I strongly disagree with this view.
          On field bias. Refs being unduly influenced by certain players, the crowds etc. yes, this happens to an extent, I’d rather it didn’t, but I think it’s generally minor.
          Mistakes / inconsistency etc. I’m all for improving this area, but as Penso said, we’ve tried more bunker / less bunker / certain situations where it can / can’t be used etc. and it’s a fine line.

        • mighty, my head hurts from all this “debating” but the fact remains that QLD in origin and the Broncos at club level (as only two examples of many) continue to get the rub of the green and seem far less effected by controversial losses by “incompetent” referees and bad calls. The Milford dropped ball against Souths before he kicked the winning field goal, the miraculous come from behind Broncos victory at Suncorp against the Cowboys after the Cowboys got 2 certain tries disallowed late in the game and then the Broncos get a run of penalties that see them in perfect field goal position to seal the win. The Greg Inglis triple knock on in goal resulting in a try to win the origin series for QLD. Look carefully and try to count the times this has gone the other way against QLD or the Broncos (again to name only two). Where there are patterns there is no coincidence mate. I do not think this is necessarily orchestrated but still the patterns are there. Why?

        • But it seems not called mistake, a mistake is calling a knock on when it was stripped, or a forward pass when it wasn’t, or something like that. Not checking your work (cause that’s what it is for refs) isn’t a mistake, not saying it’s a conspiracy, but it can be ref trying to prove a point or showing he in control but is not a mistake, checking something when he has plenty of time to do so, isn’t a mistake it’s something else. The actual ruling can be called a mistake

        • Mistake mmmm possibly, I like to say it’s more ones interpretation, problem numba 1 , no rules just guide lines , numba 2 SSTID has outlined some very serious issues here which are constantly occurring, you can’t escape the fact there are clubs that are favoured it’s clear for us all to see and SSTID is right when he says nothing will be done so long as we are happy to accept the status quo , there isn’t a fair playing field , there is no balance , there is no standard in the adjudication of the rules , what we have today is a hybrid for of Oztag (tackling being the difference) I don’t know anyone who can tell me the late 80’s and into the 90’s weren’t the golden years of Rugby League , until the war , from that point the game has changed so much in its pursuit of entertainment, in the process diluting what gave the game its draw , be very very careful powers that be Union died because of its persuit of entertainment, and the Football bohemath that’s dormant is about to awake and explode , 2018 is already owned by the FFA ,

        • The ref called several on field tries without going to the bunker, why isn’t anyone calling for them to reviewed?

          I’m about done with this debate, but for my money, the ref saw a blatant knock on (he was wrong, but he saw it, as I thought I did in real time, as blatant). As for the players calling for a review, when doesn’t that happen, and how often do they get 1 after the ref has made the call?

          Refs make literally thousands of decisions every game (when you consider they make a call on every pass, every tackle etc), and they get some wrong, and some very wrong. When they do it’s often called “sus”, “biased”, “rigged” etc, and here are some very “please explain” calls, but put it in context, against the thousands of calls made per game, and against an extremely difficult / complex game to umpire (even with multiple views from the bunker so,e calls are left “inconclusive”), not to mention people will argue black and blue against even correct decisions, and be fair.

        • Eels,
          Yep plenty of contentious decisions, but end of a game, for a place in World Cup final. What did he have to loose with checking????

        • Crowy, I get your point, and I’d bet the ref wishes he had of too.

          But I can understand why he didn’t. Without the benefit of hindsight, and just from watching it live, I wouldn’t have either.

          If you’re arguing for every try / possible try to be reviewed, then that’s one ,thing, but to argue this one in isolation should have reviewed (without the benefit of hindsight) when the ref saw what he saw is being too harsh / reading too much into a bad call etc.

        • But we all know and refs will say it, last 5-10 of a game, especially of one of importance, refs put the whistle away as they don’t want to get something wrong and decide a game. So in this particular case a short they train for these scenarios, there is something gone gravely wrong and e oils b punished some way for it…

        • @ mighty

          “SSTID, “but still the patterns are there. Why?”. In a word, Apophenia.”

          Good word, poor application. This is not the case in this instance as this is not random but selective as the “usual suspects” are not effected. Like we have said had this happened to Australia, QLD, the Broncos, the Storm then perhaps there is a case but it has not. Give me some valid examples of each being robbed by a last minute decisive call that determined the outcome of a game and I will call this Apophenia. I just hope they have an ointment for it as it is giving me a rash!

          Further to this, we all know that Bennett is given far more freedom than any other coach to criticise the NRL and referees and Cam Smith is given more latitude than any other player on the football field to question referees and refereeing the game by proxy and in deciding to make himself unavailable for media commitments without penalty. The only link I can see is that they are both from QLD or is that Apophenia too? 😉

        • I think it is, or at least may be appropriate, just to the extent you have seen a pattern and now see anything that supports it.

          There are around 200 games a year, and you can recall some so distinctly, and they all fit your pattern. Maybe the pattern is real, maybe there’s even a sufficient sample size to objectively recognise it, or maybe you don’t remember the anomalies, or maybe not even see them in the first place. In short, I don’t know the answer, but I do know I can’t recall a single game all year where anyone was robbed in the last few minutes. I’m definitely not saying there haven’t been any, because I know there’s been a number of games where I’ve thought “so and so was unlucky”, but then I forget them.

          As for certain players / coaches getting “special” treatment, yes there are certain (small) concessions given to a small group of individuals, but it’s largely because of experience and/or respect, and/or even just personality. In the scheme of things I don’t see it as a concern.

        • @ mighty

          Or maybe you took the blue pill and you are frantically trying to rationalise your world view. Oh no, watch out. There is the woman in the red dress. The program has been altered and agent Smith (Cam Smith) will be here soon. Last chance mighty. I have 2 pillls one red, one blue. Now choose. 🕵️‍♀️🇰🇵

  11. At least we agree that firstly wouldn’t happen to Australia and secondly cam smith has massive influence, that’s not a conspiracy that’s incompetence 😂😂😂 human error 😂😂😂😂😂
    Yep !!!

  12. SSTID why do you keep saying that the NRL is influencing the game to keep the foothold in QLD? This does not make sense. The game in QLD is in no danger and has been the largest supported game for over 100 years. In fact if, crowd figures, team profits, tv viewership etc are anything to go by the game is better supported in QLD and may be in greater danger in NSW. It is not as if QLD is league’s new frontier.

    That said I agree with Penso, you cannot mistake incompetency for conspiracy. The refs are often incompetent, inconsistent and error filled. However to suggest an agenda that influences results is, IMO, a step too far.

    The decision should have gone to the video and it was a grave error not to do so, if only for clarity. However on most people’s first glance it looked like a loose carry and only on replay were doubts raised. We praise refs for making decisions without getting bogged down in video replays if only to increase the flow of the game, then complain when the decision is wrong. That said, even though I was cheering Tonga, I think it was a loose carry and the decision was ultimately correct.

    Lastly, for those bringing up old mistakes of refs pointing at conspiracies benefiting certain teams, they always appear to forget the howlers that benefit their team. It is only when the mistake negatively impacts the team they support, confirming their already held bias do they get all indignant. Each year most teams get a positive outcome from a refs howler. I will wait to see if they are just as outraged when it benefits them. I have my doubts.

    • @ tommy

      “The decision should have gone to the video and it was a grave error not to do so”

      That has been my main contention from the beginning. Irrespective of the end result there would have been a lot less to argue about.

      “It is not as if QLD is league’s new frontier.”

      No it is not but the inclusion of QLD is the main reason a national competition is a viable option. Despite the success of Melbourne if QLD left the competition I believe the game would implode and go back to being a NSW competition which would result in the death of the game.

      “I think it was a loose carry and the decision was ultimately correct.”

      I don’t agree but for the sake of transparency and consistency my almost 20 year old son disagrees with me and also believes the same, that it was a loose carry and a knock on against Fifita. I have looked at the footage from the two available angles a number of times and each time I can see a stripping motion and attack on the ball by Whitehead, there is no attempt to make a tackle he clearly has a desperate last gasp play at the ball. His hand comes down in a stripping motion and dislodges the ball, it is touched last in this instance by the defender not Fifita. If a ball is punched out of the grasp of an attacking player it is ALWAYS penalised, this is NOT ever ruled as a loose carry. It was not in the motion of a genuine attempted tackle that the ball came out. Unless my understanding of a “loose carry” is completely wrong then this is a try. We will have to agree to disagree. The fact that it did not go to the video ref is the major mistake in all of this.

      “bringing up old mistakes of refs pointing at conspiracies benefiting certain teams”

      At an origin level there is no comparison. Year after year, decade after decade, call after call. I will not try to say that QLD are not worthy or their period of dominance when they have had some of the best players to have played the game during this period but there have been SO MANY calls that have been decisive and gone against NSW but where are the examples of the same BIG controversial calls against QLD? What about the infamous Hayne foot on the line ruling where the reverse angle clearly shows his heal did not come into contact with the sideline? If the situation was reversed I wonder what the reaction would be. The streaker that runs onto the ground at the end of an origin match and the QLD team cynically use this to pass the ball into the pitch invader to win a repeat set of 6 (as it was last tackle) to hold on the the ball for the remaining minute of play. Mate I wish I had cataloged these but I haven’t. There are just too many. I don’t see this pattern going against QLD consistently and certainly not in a manner that decided the contest.

      I will not single out QLD or the Broncos in particular but it is well known that modern tactics now include ways to “win penalties” by manufacturing circumstances that force the refs to rule against the defending team. This has to stop. It is intentional and cynical and the refs are being conned. Like I have said there needs to be a review of the rules and more offensive penalties given to stop this.

      For the record, I would be the first to admit if a Souths win was due to a refereeing howler but I would not give the points back. The James Graham tackle on Adam Reynolds was NOT an example of this. It was a cynical attempt and a cheap shot. Graham “played chicken” with Reynolds to force him off his kick. He knew he was not going to get there in time and committed himself to the tackle at the legs not the ball and late.

      Your thoughts on the Milford dropped ball that was “missed” which lead to the winning field goal against Souths (forgetting a number of controversial tries to the Broncos in the same game) and the infamous Broncos victory over the Cowboys where two late tries to the Cowboys were disallowed and then a run of penalties going the Broncos way to put them in position for the winning field gold?

      There was also a game between Souths and the Broncos where a still photo showed at least 4 Broncos players 1 metre or more in front of the ref that should have given Souths a penalty and a winning shot at goal.

      Are there any examples you can recall of similar “howlers” that cost the Broncos the game?

      • No examples then of QLD or the Broncos having been robbed by a decisive call that lost them a game? Thought not.

  13. No penso. I don’t think there is an overarching directive or policy from the NRL. However there ARE “consistent patterns of inconsistency and incompetence” that defy any other logical explanation. So what is the answer. See my previous posts on this. When was the last time QLD lost an origin series due to a really bad and decisive call like the Greg Inglis triple knock on and the Inglis/JT two man strip on Hayne? It just doesn’t happen and the law of averages says it should. So why not?

    I know it is so easy to argue the other side of the argument and an uphill struggle to argue against this but I am tired of “the elephant in the room” and the unwillingness of anyone to even admit this in the first place.

  14. Tommy , reschedule broncs games on sat and sun then let’s see how ya ratings go , balance the draw so your not the only club that has a 6/7 day turn around every single year , how many home games does bris take away to regional areas to grow the game ? You can’t dispute whether it’s cap issues , draw scheduling , refs calls the donkeys rarely miss out ,

    • This is what is annoying. You bang on about Brisbane when most Broncos fan readily admit scheduling advantages. These advantages are nothing to do with the Broncos but NRL deal with tv. Brisbane consistently ask for Sunday games every year but get rejected. You Sydney clubs cannot have your cake and eat it too. WITHOUT the money generated by tv some Sydney clubs would cease to exist.

      At the same why not agknowledge the scheduling advantages for Souths. In the last two years Souths have left NSW 5 times each year. Is this not an advantage? Regardless of where you finish in the 8 any Sydney club will get a hometown grand final. Is this not an advantage? Next year Souths only have 2 five day turnarounds, only lose Origin players for one game, have 5 straight home games leading into the finals. Two of Souths few away games are followed by 7 and 13 day turnaround. Between round 2 and 11 you don’t leave NSW. But I guess Souths NEVER get the rub, do they

      • @ tommy

        “I guess Souths NEVER get the rub, do they”

        The Milford dropped ball field goal and the Broncos blatant offside infront of the referee which did not result in a penalty to win tbe game are just two examples of games against the Broncos where Souths did NOT get the rub of the green. What a pity the decisions and results did not go the other way then I would not be able to countet your argument.

        I am not saying tommy that Souths are always disadvantaged but when they are up against the Broncos (especially at Suncorp stadium) very little does igo their way in part no doubt due to the influence of the partisan Broncos crowd.

        So can you think of any “howlers^ in recent history that have gone against either QLD in origin or the Broncos, that cost them the game? It certainly hasn’t happened often (if at all) so they shouldn’t be too hard to remember? Let me know when you have something.

        • No examples then of QLD or the Broncos having been robbed by a decisive call that lost them a game? Thought not.

        • For starters My lack of an answer is due to me having other things to do. I don’t sit around all day writing essays on ZT. Secondly Mighty summed it up earlier. Without doing research to jog my memory I can’t think off the top of my head of individual occurrences. When my team loses and there have been ref errors I shake my head and forget it the next day. You hate the Broncos, QLD and Bennett so much that any mistake that favours them confirms your bias and sticks in your memory. Despite the fact Brisbane have not won a comp in over 10 years those darstadly refs/nrl favour them sooo much. In fact I believe you secretly would love to see Brisbane win another comp just to reinforce the hate and give you something fresh to bang in about.

          Secondly I have had enough. EVERY single article regardless of what it is about, you eventually bring up the Broncos, bashing at them and it is tiring. If I bagged Souths in the same manner YOU would get annoyed. They way you carry on you would think Brisbane dominate the comp. Your obsession and anti-Broncos/Qld bias clouds any discussion. I would like to say that I won’t comment on any article you post on but sadly this is impossible. Your essays dominate every article.

        • “EVERY single article regardless of what it is about, you eventually bring up the Broncos”

          It’s only because I miss you tommy and I want to know you are still out there. Don’t upset yourself your blood pressure will go through the roof. It just isn’t worth it. My opinion doesn’t mean THAT much, surely?

          As you know the off-season is a dull affair and things get a bit silly this time of year to keep people awake and engaged. At least you are awake tommy. That’s a good sign. I will try to ease up on the Broncos then, just for you. Even though YOU are the one that likes to come out and try to debunk or argue most of my posts (like the crowd numbers at Redfern oval in the 70’s). Who started THAT one tommy? Nevermind, the main thing is that, just like me, you used to attend Redfern oval once upon a time on a regular basis. Sorry I can’t return the favour at Suncorp stadium but the place is too like a coffin and everyone is dead from the neck up. That’s too creepy for me to handle!

          “I would like to say that I won’t comment on any article you post on”

          Don’t be like that tommy, the schoolyard is big enough for us both to play in. Don’t run to the teacher. It’s all in fun mate. If it is a little too much well I know how you feel, I am finding I am getting a little too much of Bennett at the moment considering it’s the off-season. Normally he is back in his crypt by now. So I will ease off your Broncos for now IF you keep “FanBoy” Mick off Souths deal? I can’t make any promises about Pappa Smurf though… but I will try.

          I don’t understand why you just didn’t email me direct if you had a problem but I guess it’s just your sharing nature. You’re a giving person tommy and you like to “give it me” all the time. Thanks mate. Cheers. 😉

  15. I don’t want to get involved in the arguments surrounding the decision as no one is ever going to change their opinion but I would like to comment on some of the points mentioned above.
    Firstly refs are held accountable for mistakes they make (just not publicly). Every week refs all meet and discuss all contentious decisions and consistent poor refereeing sees refs dropped, given less games or miss out on rep games and drop down in referee ranking (all of which affects their salary the following season).
    Refs aren’t allowed their own interpretation of rules. (The few) Rules that are open to interpretation are discussed among the refs as a group and they are all agree on how the rule will be interpreted. Failure to rule in accordance with this agreed upon interpretation is considered an error.
    For the stripping rule refs are told to interpret it as if the ball is lost due to the initial contact of the tackler then it is a lost ball. If it is a 2nd effort by the tackler to steal the ball then it is a strip. The only exception to this is when a player slaps at the ball. I have mentioned this interpretation in previous articles.
    The bunker (since the start of this year) is very limited in what they can call when not called upon to make a ruling. This was made as fans complained of to much influence. Essentially the bunker can now only change the feed of a scrum or change drop-outs to 20m taps.
    They can’t overrule a scrum to a penalty or vice versa, even if asked. They can’t rule on the Milford knock on (however they could have been asked to in this situation).

    Whilst I think it could be interesting to have referees face the press to explain their decisions, you also have to consider how much criticism should be allowed to be made of referees as the more there is the less people will want to ref and the worse the refereeing standards will become.

    • Good points , as for the refs make em front the media there answerable just like the players are , interpretations should not be tolerated! It is or it isn’t , the bunker is a farce , the Walker try in semis backs this up 100% , the refs are responsible for the current state of the game , they have themes one week only to focus else where the next , everything from play the ball, maker position, tacklers peeling away , pushing in scrums is tolerated one week penalised the next , and the obvious one of not blowing a penalty in the last 5 to 10 mins of a game is influential in many outcomes , Acts of foul play that bewilder fans , commentators go unpunished, many situations reporting such acts is an easy way out , I don’t pity refs just want them to be consistent and fair

  16. There we have it. The referee’s boss has spoken. “Lift mat and sweep. Nothing to see here.” So it seems the bunker is not meant to be used if the referee is about 15 metres away from the play with the play on the ball obscured by defenders. A guess is good enough. If this forum full of league fans can still disagree after replays from multiple angle HOW can a referee that is not in a good enough position to make the call have such a decisive opinion in real time? For the record anyone who dives for a player (especially of Fifita’s size) and their first goal to stretch out for the arm and the ball and attack this area is NO hope of effecting a tackle on a man of Fifita’s size when he is already through the gap, instead they are attacking the ball pure and simple. Every time I look at that replay I can see Whitehead quickly summed up he was little hope of effecting a tackle on Fifita and went for the ball as a last ditch effort. This technique of attacking the ball and not the man is actively taught in the NFL where turnovers are key. This is what happened in this case. Whitehead intentionally played at the ball to dispossess Fifita (it was the only option left to him). The only argument then is was it a loose carry or not? Most here seem to think not, I disagree. At the end of the day ALL here have agreed that this should have been reviewed by the bunker but Archer thinks otherwise. Be prepared to “suck it up” when this happens to your club in 2018. The precedent has been set now.

    World Cup referees boss Tony Archer defends Fifita ‘no try’ call

    ““It’s a loose carry, knock on, the referee called it on field.” Archer said Whitehead’s tackle didn’t meet the criteria of a strip because he didn’t attempt to steal the ball.”

    “Whitehead’s hand momentarily touched the ball, however, Archer said that didn’t make it a strip and he was trying to bring Fifita to the ground. “There needs to be a deliberate intention to steal the ball, he’s affecting the tackle as his arm slides down the attacker’s arm,” Archer said.”

    ““There’s always the option to (go to the video referee) on a point scoring play but we encourage the referees to make a decision on-field when they’re in a position to see it,” Archer said.”

  17. OK Zero Tackle, next story please. This one has become “Groundhog Day”. The only way we can break free from this loop is to start with a fresh canvas.

    • Agreed, and whilst I don’t think anyone has changed they position much, if at all, I think it’s been a very healthy, interesting debate.

      I think it shows there are some very passionate RL supporters on this site, and I also like the fact that in over 100 posts, and so many varied opinions, it didn’t deteriorate to childish name calling etc. It remained a healthy debate.

      Lastly, that was a great game, and an awesome last 10 minutes or so. Well done to Tonga, and you’ve earned everyone’s respect.

  18. Agree, this produced exactly what ZT is here for, great sensible debate and look forward to our next words of wisdom.

    • +1

      Happy to play my part it, taking on the harder and ultimately successful side of the debate. Cheers to me! 🍾

      Bahahahahaha 😂

    • What’s same sex marriage and Rugby League got to do with this discussion penso ? Exactly what we’re you eluding to when you mixed politics with sport ? What’s a vote got to do with this ?

  19. Your only going to embarrass yourself MW, I didn’t think that i would have to explain that comment, it’s quite simple.

    The majority of opinions here seem to sway towards a conspiracy from the NRL, in a light hearted comment, what i was referring to is let’s not crucify the opinions of people who do not agree with you, has you may know the no voters have copped heaps from the yes people and has it turned out everyone respected everyone’s opinion on this debate, that’s all it was about.

    Hope that satisfies your curiosity

      • That’s the spirit, if only the ref had of gone to spec savers.

        And SSTID, “taking on the harder and ultimately successful side of the debate”. Nice, ending with a joke shows you’re gracious in defeat.

        • “taking on the harder and ultimately successful side of the debate”

          Too much champagne too early, perhaps that came out wrong? Me (taking on my shoulders) the harder side of the debate (which was) ultimately successful (i.e. my side of the argument). Better now? You take pleasure in winding me up don’t you mighty? 😉

          I can see you took the blue pill then mighty. Disappointing. You aren’t going to swear at me in Greek again are you? You will only get MW47 all excited if you do. Bahahahahahahaha

        • Mighty , with 13 spoons you my friend are full of gracefulness, that jingling comming from your pockets are coins of gracefulness, 6 coins in one pocket 7 in the other

        • SSTID, I knew what you meant, but assumed you were joking. My bad.

          “You take pleasure in winding me up don’t you mighty?”. Yep, guilty, but it is the off season, and I do enjoy making the p….ss in general.

          MW, 13 SPOONS in 70 years. That’s a spoon every 5.5 years on average. 16 teams in the comp, although not as many in our early days, but nevertheless that’s more than a statistical anomaly, and 0 to Manly over the same period. CONSPIRACY. I’m swapping sides (but not becoming a Manly supporter), you guys were right (copy and paste that SSTID), I have the evidence. I’ve taken the RED pill and it’s become clear to me now. It’s an NRL conspiracy. Poor Parra, we’re victims of said conspiracy. Now’s that?

        • @ mighty

          Not a joke, no. I go down with the ship right until the end. As I have said before, at my age “I am always right ESPECIALLY when I am wrong!” 😉

          “I do enjoy making the p….ss in general.”

          What a pity more here can’t buy into our “colostomy bag” philosophy. 😉

          “(copy and paste that SSTID)”

          I have and now sadly, I have future proof of your “pill popping habit”. That’s at least 3 in the last 24 hours mighty! You need help son. Medic!!!

          Just think how I feel, Souths won the 2014 premiership when I was still on the blue pills!

        • Oh mighty! I just realised you killed my joke… “making the p….ss”. It’s “taking the p….ss” son! OK, Take #2…

        • 😂😂 mighty you’ve come along way , you’ve managed to lower yourself to our standards in record time , that’s funnier than why I left the lights on when he parked his scooter , 😂😂 he had to call the RACQ 😂😂 wait till he gets home and realises his commode only has 3 legs , battery powered angle grinders are a mans best friend, il post you the leg tommy when you post an apology😂😂😂😂😂😂 for supporting the broncos 🤮

        • “lower yourself to our standards”

          OUR standards MW47? Et tu, Brute? The Ides of March were suppose to be for Pappa Smurf!

        • Proof and send, proof and send, proof and send. I’ll get the hang of it.

          That said, and how ironic is this, I still wasn’t wrong (I’m at that age too). I was looking forward to a few quiet brews, so technically “I do enjoy making the p…ss”.

          And SSTID, you can be right too, because I also “enjoy taking the p….ss”

        • “Proof and send, proof and send, proof and send…”

          You got me feeling all nostalgic there for a minute mighty. I was remembering the old vinyl LPs, how they used to get stuck in the groove. I wanted SO bad to pat you on the back! You got there though.

          So mighty if we are BOTH at that age then when we argue does that me will never be right, or never be wrong? You’re confusing me again mighty, DON’T start me!

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