Raper questions Harrigan's Roosters role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raper questions Harrigan's Roosters role

By Daniel Pace 16/05/2004 05:36:43 AM Comments (0)

Cronulla's Stuart Raper has become the third NRL coach this season to question former top referee Bill Harrigan's role at the Sydney Roosters, drawing an angry response from Ricky Stuart.

Raper said he should hire a referees' coach following his team's 38-18 loss to the Roosters at Toyota Park, insinuating the Roosters are getting away with coming off their defensive line too early.

Manly coach Des Hasler and Newcastle mentor Michael Hagan have made similar comments after losing to the Roosters this year.

"They work the ruck overtime," said Raper, whose halfback Brett Kimmorley made a solid last-ditch bid for NSW Origin selection.

"Maybe I should look at trying to hire a referees' coach because it obviously seems to (be) benefiting them ... how close they push the boundaries.

Pressed on the matter, Raper added: "They push the boundaries - I'm not going to say whether it's legal or illegal but it's pretty quick.

"When the ball hits the ground does it clear the ruck? There's always a different interpretation there."

Stuart fired back, saying coaches were quick to blame Harrigan, who works as a consultant on refereeing for the Roosters, to take pressure off themselves.

"We've had this defence for three years," retorted Stuart.

"It's not what Bill Harrigan's doing.

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