Refs feel the heat: Lang - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Refs feel the heat: Lang

By Ben Horne 16/07/2010 11:11:29 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney coach John Lang believes his policy of not criticising referees has hurt his side this season and that coaches who blast NRL officials are gaining an advantage by doing so.

The normally reserved Lang launched a scathing on the system, which he believes rewards sides who get in the faces of referees after the Rabbitohs' 16-13 loss to St George Illawarra on Friday night.

Lang said he coaches his players to be disciplined in their approach to whistle-blowers on the field and that he never blasts them post-match, however he admitted he may have cost his side victories this season by doing so.

The experienced coach believes fines for coaches who hammer referees is not enough of a deterrent, and even called for competition points to be stripped from teams who try to pressure officials in that way.

"Coaches abuse referees, bag them insinuate they're dishonest, all sorts of things in these press conferences and it seems to be a tactic that works to be perfectly honest," Lang said.

"And I don't think they should get fined. It should be points taken off them because I think referees feel the pressure.

"I haven't said the referees are cheats. What I've said is I believe that they feel the pressure of players in their face, haranguing them, coaches blasting them in the media.

"I don't think the fine is a deterrent to people who do that. If you're going to lean anywhere you're going to lean towards the people who are actually playing with discipline.

"We're trying to help the referees and I don't think it's an advantage, I think it's a disadvantage because I think other people wear them down and I've spoken out tonight because I've probably disadvantaged our club by the way we go about it."

Lang was angered by a number of decisions going against his side in the heart-breaking loss to the Dragons.

He was also upset about 50/50 decisions that went against the Rabbitohs last week in their loss to the Roosters, saying referees may have been pressured by opposition coach Brian Smith's attack on officials the previous week.

"I really believe that we've had a number of 50/50 calls go against us ... and one last week where a 50/50 call in an absolute pressure situation went against us and Brian Smith had been fined $5000 the week before," Lang said.

"I'm not saying that's why the 50/50 call went against us but what I'm saying is we try and play by the rules and I don't think it's doing us any good.

"It appears that by treating people with respect and not whingeing and getting your players to treat your referees with respect isn't a very successful tactic."

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