NRL coaches hit out at refereeing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL coaches hit out at refereeing

By Todd Balym 16/05/2008 06:21:52 PM Comments (0)

Frustration with inconsistent refereeing has reached boiling point with leading coaches Brian Smith and Des Hasler hitting out at the massive penalty count swings in 2008.

Newcastle boss Smith and Manly mentor Hasler have had enough of the massive variations in penalty counts from week to week and have called upon the NRL to clear up the matter.

Smith voiced his disgust on live television in his post-match press conference to Monday's loss to Melbourne after his side lost the penalty count 10-3, when just a week earlier the Storm had conceded a near season high 11.

He continued to vent his frustrations by confirming he had written to the NRL over the issue.

"I think I asked more than enough questions to take it into next week and maybe the week after," Smith said.

"(It's) not only about conceding penalties. To be honest that is almost the bottom of the list as far as we are concerned.

"The last four weeks we have received two, two, four and three penalties. We have played against four absolutely magnificent and disciplined teams if that is the case.

"It seems strange because a couple of them are actually bottom of the list in penalties conceded, except when they play us.

"It's all very confusing."

Manly coach Hasler agrees with Smith's frustrations, with his side having won just two of eight penalty counts in 2008.

Hasler said he couldn't understand how some sides can concede so few penalties one week, then blow out to double figures the next.

Parramatta conceded just one penalty when Manly beat them last month, but gave away 10 the following week.

Other wild swings include Melbourne's run of nine-four-11-three penalties conceded, Newcastle's eight-four-10 or even Wests Tigers seven-two-six.

Over Manly's opening eight games they've ranged from six to 10 penalties conceded and one to 11 received.

The Storm have the biggest fluctuations in the NRL with three to 11 conceded and two to 12 received.

"It's big swings," said Hasler.

"I think most sides are finding it frustrating with referees at the moment.

"The refereeing decisions and interpretations have so much of an impact on it now.

"I don't think we've been on the right side of a penalty count. I think us and Melbourne are the most penalised sides in the competition.

"We get no 50-50 calls. Some of the penalties we deserve, but it's probably only three a match that we deserve them."

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