The league does not like it – the officials do not like it – the fans love it when a NRL coach or player takes the refs to task for inconsistent enforcement of the rules or outright blown calls.
In the age of replay, even some of the refs’ mothers may long for the time when they could send their recalcitrant sons to their rooms to ponder their sins, in hopes of their choosing a more respectable career path than that of NRL referee.
Fan opinion aside, referee criticism is looked on with dubious and skeptical eyes by the league and you need look no further than that fact to understand why North Queensland Cowboys Coach Paul Green will be finding more air than usual when he opens up his next pay envelope.
We are not certain why Green was so upset. No call could have changed the outcome of the 26 – 8 loss to the Melbourne Storm. It would have taken conspiracy of a monumental nature to have affected the outcome at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Green, however, would not agree. In the post-game presser, Green was unequivocal about his opinion regarding the officiating.
“That was the worst refereeing display I have ever seen,” he said. “There were some calls where they lacked consistency. I’m not one to shift the blame away from our performance, but the fans deserved more than that. There were two quality teams out there and I was left scratching my head at some of the calls. I said to the boys after the game I’ve never been involved in a game where so many things have gone against us … it’s just a shame the refs ruined the game.”
While we have occasionally, well, frequently, taken the sledge to the refs, we confine it for the most part to controversial calls in close games. Plus, we do not have the $10,000 the NRL plans to take from Green for his spray, so no one pays us much heed.