Hasler furious over NRL ref standards - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hasler furious over NRL ref standards

By Steve Jancetic And Laine Clark 25/05/2009 06:40:03 AM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler has unloaded on the standard of refereeing in the NRL after the Sea Eagles were dudded by a diabolical Matt Cecchin decision which handed Gold Coast victory at Skilled Park on Sunday.

In another sub-standard weekend for the men in pink, Cecchin penalised Manly skipper Matt Orford for taking out Titans fullback Preston Campbell as the pair battled for possession with two minutes left on the clock.

Orford's frustrations were evident as he called out to Cecchin "you'll be in reserve grade next week", Gold Coast skipper Scott Prince calmly potting the simple penalty to hand the Titans an unlikely 18-17 victory.

An outspoken critic of the two-referee system even before Sunday's game, Hasler did little to hide his rage as he called on the NRL to act on the quality of refereeing.

"Week-in week-out we are discussing similar issues, similar situations and it is time something was done about it," Hasler said.

"The game is professional, the officialdom isn't.

"The (game) was not decided by the players. It was ahead of a large TV audience, 17,000 fans at the ground and it was again a junior referee who decided the issue with, in my opinion, a dreadful error under pressure.

"It is a sad situation for the game and I feel for my players and the thousands of fans who travelled up to 13 hours to watch this game of footy.

"Rugby league is a great game, it has to be to survive errors like the one two minutes from fulltime."

Cecchin's bizarre decision came less than 48 hours after dubious calls marred both Friday night encounters.

South Sydney were denied the opportunity to have a crack at a match-winning field goal against Parramatta at ANZ Stadium with referee Brett Suttor not allowing a scrum to be fed as the fulltime hooter sounded at the end of extra time with the scores tied at 16-all.

Across town at Campbelltown Stadium, Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens was livid after his star playmaker Benji Marshall was sin-binned for repeated infringements as the Tigers went down to Brisbane 20-18.

Sheens claimed Marshall copped a raw deal after both sides had been warned for repeated infringements in the first half.

"The crowd booed them and so did I," Sheens said of the referees.

"I'll make it (my complaints) official."

Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler meanwhile could only wish he had refereeing decisions to blame for his side's dismal form with the Roosters flogged 48-6 by Penrith on Saturday night, their fourth loss from their last five matches.

Fittler looked like he had reached desperation stakes as he shifted incumbent NSW five-eighth Braith Anasta to fullback, the move backfiring in spectacular fashion with Anasta targeted under the high ball by the Panthers.

Fittler's former Panthers teammate Mark Geyer claimed it was time an experienced coaching figure was brought in to help Fittler in much the same way John Lang works with Jason Taylor at South Sydney.

"Putting Braith Anasta at fullback, I've got no explanation for it," Geyer said on the Nine Network.

"There's no doubt he's going to be a good coach, I've got no doubt in the world, but he just needs someone at the moment just to point him in the right direction."

The top eight maintained a similar look to it with the Bulldogs, St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Penrith and the Gold Coast all winning, while Newcastle can move to the top of the ladder for the first time this year if they beat North Queensland by more than 25 points on Monday night.

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