NRL – Why Referees deserve more respect

Hello all. Majoritively, I am very negative of the NRL, and the way they handle dramas too severely, aka Storm’s Trophy Heist. I have overreacted a fair bit this year. However I believe that the way NRL clubs, fans and board members are reacting to NRL Referees this year, action needs to be taken. THAT truly is the definition of overreacting. The backlash on referees this year is an absolute farce. Every game that has been determined by less than 6 points has pointed the loss at the referee and the NRL. It is garbage. Teams such as the Dragons, Souths, Eels, Tigers, and the Cowboys have blatantly attacked officials in post match conferences and in the newspapers weekly. Enough is enough.

Let us get one thing straight, refereeing sucks to do. Who would go out there and put up with the amount of criticism they do for a living? It forced Bill Harrigon to resign due to death threats to his children. Come on, it is a game. A lot of people aren’t registering with this. I follow Parramatta. It doesn’t permit myself to blow up on officiating when one call or a hundred doesn’t go our way. Nor any other fan for that matter. Refereeing is a thankless job. Human error is sadly an aspect of life, we all make mistakes and educated guesses on a daily basis. They are not perfect. Games are always critical and come down to the wire, especially this year where the pace has been astronomically fast. If they make a mistake that costs your team a game, so be it.

The way the St George Illawarra Dragons handled their loss to the Melbourne Storm a couple of weeks back was disgraceful. They had a case to plea fair enough, but there are two ways about it. One is putting in a formal complaint and getting on with things. The other is what the club did, and that is moan and complain to every person they could say it to. Really? Demanding 2 points, a forcible change of result and Storm losing the points? You’re joking. Get real guys, the refs call is final. You lost. Deal with it. My team lost a game based on an obstruction by Wests Tigers player Luke Brooks last week. I wasn’t happy with the way my club responded with it either. Blaming players for dives and obstructions is really poor. It is simply how things go. All teams cheat to some degree. Keep your head up, play hard, and be a sportsman.

I will give props to former Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin. Post matches, after his team loses, when games come down to a 50/50 call, he blames himself and his team for the loss. He moves on with things and responds as a professional. He can work with his team to improve on their performance, instead of playing the blame game. Good for him. You cannot always blame a referee for your team’s poor performances. I feel this is where the NRL needs to step in and start fining and punishing teams for their lack of respect for referees. I am sick to death of the way players talk to refs on field and behind their backs. Johnathon Thurston anyone? I would be impressed by the NRL is they did what cricketing umpires did and fine them 10% of a match fee, or more even depending on the severity of the offence. There is no respect anymore, it is time it was earned again.

Referees are human beings. What they say goes, it is their job. They don’t work for Manly, they don’t hate individual clubs, and they have families like you and I. How would you feel every time you did something partly wrong at work you were chastised, blown up, disrespected, and insulted on a national stage and via social media? It is not right and it is not fair. I would be more than happy to see the NRL step in and protect these thankless fellows for their hard work and dedication. It is the least they can do. I am afraid one day someone will hit a referee and it will be a major incident all over 2 points. It is just a game.

Thank you for reading. For all things NRL, make sure to check us here at PTVP. Go Parra!



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