SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20: Raiders coach Ricky Stuart speaks to the media in the post match press conference after the round 19 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canberra Raiders at Southern Cross Group Stadium on July 20, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has launched a scathing attack at the NRL for some of the referee decisions during his side’s 28-24 loss to the Sharks.

Stuart was particularly unhappy over one Sharks’ try where the referee actually called knock on and the touch judge lifted his flag.

Another decision that infuriated the Canberra coach was when centre Joey Leilua got called for an iffy forward pass which could have gone either way.

“Well I only saw the one replay, but to me it went well behind a lot of passes that have been let go this year,” Stuart told reporters post-match.

“All this rot started at Round 1 this year.

“I don’t know who came out and told the referees, that they had to come in and pick on everything.

“When you start nitpicking at little sh**ty pieces of play and realistically, if you are going to do that right, in every tackle in every set of six you can find something in rugby league.

“But that’s the beautiful thing about our game.

“The penalty count should have been 55-60 if you were going to be fair dinkum, but we’ve ruined the first 14 rounds of this competition.

“We’ve lost fans and I know so many people who have said they’ve been turned off the game of rugby league because of it.

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“But then, halfway through the year Todd Greenberg has come out and told everyone to stop nitpicking.

“We are the only sport in the world, that changes interpretations midway through the year.

“Every coach gets an email on Wednesday telling us that this won’t be acceptable this week.

“I have one session after that, what am I meant to tell the players?

“It’s like a cricket umpire telling you LBW this week is only going to be leg stump and middle stump.

Stuart conceded that the referees were not completely to blame considering his side dug themselves in a hole at half time, but they made the job harder for them.

“We did enough in that second half to win the match,” Stuart said.

“But people don’t understand that this is our job and we play for results.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t help you when you have people making errors, that don’t help you when you are after a result.

“But again we won’t look at it and blame the referee and or his touch judge, but any time a touch judge puts his flag up isn’t the referee meant to blow his whistle?”

Canberra skipper Josh Hodgson defended the players for stopping after seeing a flag go up.

“I know what people are going to say, that we should have played to the whistle, but he put the whistle in his mouth and the flag went up,” Hodgson told reporters after the tough loss.

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“It is natural instinct when you see a flag go up and a whistle go up to the referees mouth that you stop.”

Stuart continued his tirade, attacking the NRL for making the referee’s jobs too hard.

“This is why people are turning off rugby league,” Stuart said.

“And it is sad because I don’t blame the referees, they have a very tough job, but too many voices around them are making it too hard for them.

“I believe we have very competent referees and the professionalism they have is as good as it can be, but we have too many people around them not letting them do their job.

“For one the bunker is a waste of time.

“For the referee to be able to use it as a tool because he doesn’t know, is wrong.

“The bunker is making it harder for the referees.”

Stuart added that “the disappointing thing is that we are talking about it.”

“I got into my players for not playing to the whistle, but they told me that the flag went up and the referee called knock on, so what are they meant to do?”




      • The 2013 GF ?
        The GF that manly were proven to have been cheating the cap ?
        The GF where one your own players was rumoured to have thrown the game for cash ?

        • Cheating the cap? Bahahaha by what 100,000. The gaje was fixed all fans know this. One set of rules for each team, rorters gave 2 penalties all game. 2! The most penalized side in 2013. 2. Fing two mate. Not to mention the forward pass from minichello to Maloney the Jennings touch that went ‘unnoticed’ the penalty try that should pf been a binning or jwh head butting our player after losing the ball… roosters penalty. LoL the ‘game’ was a rort. Dce man of match. We dominated you that game and you should of had only 1 try the tupou try. Your clubs a joke. 14th in 2012 then 1st in 2013. Its ok you cheated and bought a premiership. Fact

  1. Yeh if they did not cave into the media when it was clear they were trying to get control back earlier this year. But to get control back the refs and the game need to be stronger on a whole lot of situations.
    All these bandaid solutions, tweeks here and there, 2 refs, bunker and time clocks, verbal coaching and discussions to supposedly help have done more harm than good.
    Lets the refs rule, run the game and make quick decisions as per the rule book and teach touch judges to focus on what they should be looking for as they see it and thats it.
    It works fine from reserve grade and backwards. mistakes are made and you dont agree with all but deal with it.

  2. Nothing much has changed in years.
    Anyone who can remember the Manly / Parramatta finals from years ago , will remember the same style of refereeing.
    The technology may be better, but decisions still all go one way, depending who you play for.
    If you are Melbourne, Brisbane , Roosters now & add Cronulla. Then you would not know of any problem with refereeing. As most critical decisions go your way . Penalties don’t go against your team when they should & it’s hard to be sent to the sin bin .
    Don’t believe me? How does Milford stay on the field against Penrith? True, Brisbane we’re going to win any way. But Milford , holds down for ages after a line break, no sin bin. Runs away with the ball at the end of six tackle for Brisbane & kicks the ball away, no sin bin. ( not even a penalty ). Kicks the ball away in the ruck while defending the Brisbane line , no sin bin . Runs past an opponent , who’s doing nothing to do with the play & pulls their hair / pulls them to the ground , no sin bin. Other teams players are sent to the bin for one infringement . Not Milford, not Brisbane players . They are beyond the reach of referees. Beyond reproach . When Milford ran away with the ball , when it was a hand over. The referee could be heard saying , please mate, bring the ball back. What a joke!
    As for Cronulla. They must be special now & up with those other teams. Poor decisions against Canberra & the Warriors , gave Cronulla two wins they didn’t deserve. Didn’t earn. Brings back the memories of 2016.
    As for the other teams? Everyone knows Melboune , Roosters get special treatment. Just as Brisbane do for almost all of their games. Especially at home.
    Just even treatment , decisions for all teams would be nice. Refreshing!

    • Clown. There you go again. No one wants to see these continual stuff ups but the conspiracy or favoritism thing is beyond a joke. Canberra were done and dusted at half time last night, as they admitted by the way. Cronulla switched off, as they often do, and made it look closer than it was. By the way, no one has yet explained why Cronulla didn’t earn their premiership in 2016. Leastwise that idiot Gould, the man with the 10 year plan that looks like blowing out by at least another year after last night’s belting at Suncorp. Winning 15 on the trot and then not getting a home ground final despite a top 4 finish as the other 3 did, pretty well says they earned it. We’re not talking 2010 for example here where a mob won a title after clearly the best side of the season was rubbed out for a governance issue. That’s unearned.
      Brisbane beat Cronulla earlier this year with the biggest forward pass of any season yet there’s no cry of conspiracy from Sharks fans. It’s a stuff up so grow up and move on with the favoritism rubbish. They’re errors and errors need to be eradicated by whatever means is best. Embarrassing for the game and at some stage every side is hurt by them.

      • If it wasn’t a knock-on, wasn’t it a forward pass? It is a mindset that makes the refs take sides instead of being impartial.
        The Raiders didn’t make an excuse for the loss. They admitted that they didn’t do well in the first half. But they did enough to come back in the second half to win the game if it wasn’t for refs howlers.
        It is a full time game that matters, not first half only. The Raiders know that very well from their first rounds this season. Or perhaps the chmist injected the Sharks with a dose enoough for one half only.

  3. Of course you would think that all is fair in refereeing. That no ones favoured. Wouldn’t expect anything else.
    Funnily Cronulla had on 70% of the ball in the first half & Canberra had a player in the bin as well.
    It wasn’t all over when there was only 4 points between the teams . Then Cronulla gets another great decision to get them 10 in front. The only try they scored in the second half. It was another rip off. Then , to go with it a forward pass
    ruled against Canberra , when they were going to score. Wow, aren’t Cronulla lucky!
    Same crap that stopped the Warriors winning against Cronulla.
    Every one’s a clown who can’t see things your way . What a surprise…
    You would loved Hartley as a referee. Right up your street.

    • Read before you speak. Never said anything like all’s fair with refereeing. All sides have been on the receiving end which doesn’t make anything at all fair. It’s embarrassing for the game. Consistency in correct decision making is what we’re after and I agree 100% with Sticky Stuart. Next time Cronulla get dudded however, I don’t expect you’ll be howling about the wrong doing like you are now but you will be here saying that all’s now right again as it’s evened up. Any wrong decision is exactly that. Wrong. Did that cost Canberra the game? According to them it was their poor first half but what would they know right? It’s all a biased conspiracy.

  4. They have been stitch up all yeah by the refs. It’s wrong An should not happen. Ricky has every right to be P I S S E D. They would be in 5 place easy if they didn’t get bad calls from the so called refs Blatant calls going agin the Raiders all yeah. I don’t even go for the Raiders but come on it’s bad to watch. It turns people off watching the game when it’s not a far playing feld

    • I agree though coming from a storm fan its a bit rich.. remember last week? You won off a rubbish penalty in front of the sticks and a forward pass try. You go for the nrl storm. Try following manly we always cop the biggest flop calls. Same with raiders amd last week the titans copped it another nrl team the roosters no suprise there

  5. Did I say Cronulla is favoured above Bisbane? Don’t think so. Can’t favour both when they play each other , now can they ? Ask Tigers fans what they think about the refereeing playing against Brisbane at Campbelltown early this season . You probably can’t remember that far back?
    By the way , what does Gould & a plan of any kind have to do with what I first stated?
    Wandering off the mark there Sharky.
    You are just pissed as you know Cronulla couldn’t win a premiership at all, without lots of Tigers & Penrith players. Throw what ever names out or any insult you like. Every one knows it true. 👍

    • The mark, oh one of short attention span, is the memories of 2016 bit. The infamous clown-puncher Gould was the one claiming the unearned or “soft” premiership for Cronulla just as you’re trying to hint at .Just try and stay on point and focus a little bit here. This conspiracy theory of yours has clearly clouded your limited knowledge and judgement. Who do you support by the way hot-shot? and we’ll dissect a few truths and players backgrounds to see who’s a home grown hero shall we. The relevance of all that went out years ago along with your views on favoritism and Hartley etc. Take a guy like Fafita for example. Premiership winner and rep player in the best form of his career. If he’d have stayed at a losing club like the tigers how do you think he’d be going now? Great? Nah…..

  6. Lol weak arguments. Sticky is off his head mate. Blaming refs when he should blame himself. Boyd is leaving. Paulo is leaving. Austin is leaving. Austin stated after the Broncos game that “there is 4 people defending on an edge not just me, its sad ricky is blaming me” obviously something is wrong at Canberra. It’s also obvious Panthers are an Up and Down Team. Cronulla are not yet Top 4.

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