Souths boss defends Lang over comments - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths boss defends Lang over comments

By Ben Horne 17/07/2010 11:13:39 AM Comments (0)

South Sydney chief executive Shane Richardson is confident John Lang won't be fined by the NRL for his stunning outburst about referees being intimidated by opposition coaches and players.

After Souths' 16-13 loss to St George Illawarra, the Rabbitohs coach claimed his side's policy of not openly criticising match officials had disadvantaged his club, and that teams who do harass whistleblowers were gaining an edge.

Lang said referees do feel this pressure and even went as far to say that fines for blasting officials weren't enough of a deterrent and suggested clubs should lose competition points for undue insinuations about the men in the middle.

Richardson was adamant there were no grounds for Lang to be fined for his attack, and said it would be a terrible shame if the Rabbitohs were forced to abandon their disciplined policy and join other clubs in pressuring referees.

"How does he get fined? According to David Gallop all you can get fined is if you call refs cheats ... but he's not saying that," said Richardson.

"He's saying we're not getting the right decision and he's saying coaches and players are putting pressure on referees and decisions and it's not the right way.

"It goes back to the old Bozo (Bob Fulton) days doesn't it, (when Fulton famously said about referee Bill Harrigan in the 1990s as coach of Manly) I'll run over you with a cement truck.

"At the end of the day, it's still that mentality that you get in the referees' face and you question all his decisions, you make a point about him after the game.

"He's never coached that way, that's not fair, it's not fair to the players and it's not the way we play. You don't see our players coming out abusing referees, in their face and carrying on. We don't want to have to do that, but is that what you've got to?'

Inspirational Souths forward Sam Burgess was called out by referee Shayne Hayne for remonstrating after St George Illawarra's first try, and the English international admitted the frustration being felt by the players out on the pitch was difficult to contain.

Burgess indicated it has been very challenging for Bunnies' players in recent weeks to abide by Lang's edict of copping referees' decisions on the chin.

"Personally if I had my way I don't know ... it's so frustrating out there on the field when you're putting in so much effort in and you feel you've got the wrong call to try and hold your words together and not say anything," Burgess said.

"But mistakes are made and we've just got to learn to move on as players from it and hopefully the tide will turn and a few will come our way and we'll have a smile on our face rather than a frown next week and we'll move on.

"I just questioned a few decisions that's all, I weren't having a go at the ref or anything, just questioned a few calls and he pulled me over to tell me to stop doing it, so I learnt from it and I pulled my head in."

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