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Have you ever seen a referee knock on?

Joe Cobb quits

If there’s one thing that separates us RL fans apart from other sports fans is our love of a good old moan.

You can guarantee that if a referee blows for a penalty for a player being 2 yards offside we won’t have a go at the player, we’ll have a go at the good old ref. It’s always the refs fault, you only have to look on social media after a game… Bentham did his best to get Leeds back in the game…. Thaler hates Cas…. we could be here all day.

Now I’m not going to sit here and suggest referees don’t make mistakes, they do possibly too many. But I can’t think of a sport where they don’t… Football refs are forever being castigated by managers after games,  it’s a hard job.

The latest to have a whinge is Leigh chairman Derek Beaumont after watching his side get nilled by Castleford on Monday. Now being honest I haven’t seen this game in full so I can’t really comment on the decisions he’s questioning, by all accounts reports suggest on this occasion he has a point,  but I’m not quite so sure he’d be as vocal had his side won on Monday.

Surely the game should be getting behind the officials, not pressuring them even more. I’d love to see some of these coaches, or particularly the keyboard Warriors on social media have a go for themselves. After all there are plenty of vacancies.
It’s a hard job, often  in games when they go to the screen we still disagree so whatever decision is given the ref is wrong somewhere.
On the whole most of the decisions, particularly the video ref ones, are backed up by former ref supremo Stuart Cummins on Sky which gives me the impression that the biggest problem is that some fans and so called pundits don’t even know the rules.

Beaumont has called for refs to be more accountable for their mistakes, they already are.
There’s been plenty of examples this season where Super League refs have been demoted to the Championship, this puts more pressure on surely?  Kyle Amor wrongly sent off on Good Friday followed refs being demoted for failing to show reds in previous weeks to Brett Ferres and Ben Westwood.

Alot of decisions in our great game are subjective so you’re never going to get consistency across the board,  especially around forward passes  I’m told refs are told to look where the hands are pointing when deciding on this as a pose to where the ball goes.
It’s impossible to get all these decisions spot on, and further to that you have to be very careful what you wish for.
If all decisions were spot on what would we talk about in the pub after the game?
I’ve yet to see a referee decide a game, it’s not like they knock on or miss tackles is it?

It might help them abit more if players weren’t constantly chucking themselves on the floor to try and win a penalty,maybe these players should be more accountable.

We have to get behind the referees, Mr Beaumont himself admits that there’s not many left.
They’re leaving sport in droves due to physical and verbal abuse on the field,  we have to support them not blame them. Let’s be honest we have no game without them.

Some of the abuse aimed at Ben Thaler after Wigan’s win at Castleford last year was nothing short of disgraceful,  I saw one comment suggesting he should be a victim of a serious sexual assault, TV evidence had actually backed up many of Thalers decisions on that day.
They are an easy target to blame,   they do have to explain their decisions after games, more so than players that’s for sure.

The disciplinary panel are also an easy target, yes there can at times be alot of inconsistency but all circumstances are different.
I remember an occasion last year when Stuart Fielden was getting abuse from one particular pundit,  he came out and defended himself making the pundit look ridiculous.
Fielden shouldn’t adjudicate on clubs he’s played for, well there’s not many he hasn’t to be fair.
This is an absolute insult to his professionalism, I fully trust him to come to a decision fairly and without bias, I’m glad it’s an ex player that’s been there and done it that’s on the panel whoever he has played for.
There are only 12 teams in Super League, if you’ve played for 4 teams then you can’t sit on a panel for a 1/3 of the sides?… Ridiculous.

Referees are always going to make mistakes, just like players and coaches but they’re honest mistakes. Let’s get behind them, after all we need them more than they need us.



  1. Ian ralph

    June 2, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I’d like to know of the current group of referees how many have actually played the game.

    • Barrie Thomas

      October 5, 2017 at 10:52 am

      A fair few to be honest, and certainly a very much higher percentage than the number of “fans” who have refereed!

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