Brown calls for tougher punishments - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown calls for tougher punishments

By Ian Laybourn 06/05/2010 07:51:57 AM Comments (0)

Outspoken Australian coach Nathan Brown has issued a warning over the future of the English game and blasted the Rugby Football League's judiciary over their failure to protect the playmakers.

The former St George Illawarra boss, who is in his second season with Huddersfield, reckons discipline in the English game is "a hundred times worse" than in Australia because there is no adequate deterrent for illegal play, and he called on the judiciary to make an example of a player.

Brown's anger stemmed from referee Ben Thaler's decision not to dismiss Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin for the late and high tackle on 167cm Luke Robinson during his side's 28-10 defeat by the Warriors at Murrayfield on Sunday.

In the post-match press conference, he revealed he would order his own "enforcers" to mete out their own punishment in future in order to protect the "small" players.

O'Loughlin, who was penalised and lectured by the referee, was given a caution when the incident was studied by the RFL's match review panel - a decision that did not surprise Brown, who believes the foul deserved a ban of up to two months.

"That was my whole point," he told a press conference at the Galpharm Stadium today. "It's not about Wigan or Wigan players, it's about the whole game in general over here.

"There's no risk to anyone doing anything late to players over here because if a referee sends anybody off they'll get sent to the judiciary and come away with a 300 fine and a slap on the wrist and all the heat comes back on the referee.

"It needs to be looked at. It's a serious issue in the game over here. At the moment, there's nothing done to protect the players.

"It wouldn't have happened in Australia because the player would have known if he had done it, he would have got into strife.

"Over here, it's a hundred times worse. Any player can take a risk, a la O'Loughlin the other day. People won't do it if someone is made an example of.

"Your game is going to end up that much slower than the NRL soon. If you believe what you read, there are more Aussie coaches coming and we're the ones that wreck it. I'll be the first to admit it.

"Your game won't be free-flowing any more. It doesn't matter to me because as a coach our job is to try to bend the rules and you certainly can bend them over here."

Brown, 36, who was Super League coach of the year in 2009 after guiding the Giants to Wembley and a third-place finish in the League, admits his own players have benefited from the leniency of the judiciary.

"If one of my players did what happened the other day, he should be sent off and be suspended for a month or two to discourage him from attacking people," he said.

"I can show you pictures of my own players last year and this year who have been at the judiciary and shouldn't have got away with what they got away with.

"We had Darrell Griffin last year up for a grapple tackle and he should have been suspended for two weeks but he got nothing.

"I've been talking about this in the coaches' meetings two or three times. I've been told the theory is that there are not enough good players over here so we can't go suspending them for too long. Well that's disgraceful.

"You've got to protect your best assets. Luke Robinson is as tough as any player I've ever seen and he should be protected, as should Sam Tomkins for Wigan and Sean Long - all the little people.

"Sure, hit them hard but hit them fair. The head is not an area that you should go near. The referees need better support from the judiciary."

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