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Ex-NRL referee blasts Super League officials and demands ‘ref coaching’ after World Club Challenge

A former NRL and international referee has slammed the performance of Liam Moore in the World Club Challenge after he controversially awarded a try to Wigan Warriors centre Jake Wardle.

Tony De Las Heras retired from refereeing in 2012 but during his six-year career in the NRL he took charge of over 100 games.

After the World Club Challenge victory for Wigan Warriors there have been plenty of comments made regarding the officiating, Liam Moore being the man in the middle.

The first note of controversy surrounding the match officials came before a ball had been kicked when it was confirmed that the game would be officiated under international rules instead of Super League rules.

Super League has clamped down on head contact with severe punishments that have seen a spike in sin bins and red cards with four reds and nine yellows shown in round one.

Instead, the international rules were agreed upon and that seemed to be something that Moore may have forgotten at one point as he incorrectly ruled against Liam Martin for a ball strip which whilst illegal in Super League, is permitted under international rules.

That was but a minor sticking point for many Australian and NRL fans with Moore’s on-field decision of try for Jake Wardle’s game-winning score proving to be the most controversial decision of the night.

James Graham suggested that Moore guessed for the decision, but now De Las Heras has called for a major overhaul of UK refereeing.

“Unbelievable” – World Club Challenge officiating criticised by former NRL referee

World Club Challenge

The reaction on social media post-game was focused massively around Moore and for De Las Heras it was the same.

Responding to a post on Facebook, the 104-game NRL veteran ref reacted: “Unbelievable. The ref went up and said try! There are serious issues in Super League officiating.”

He then continued by referencing the rumoured Super League buyout from he NRL, calling on the deal to be done as soon as possible to try and save the UK game and its state of officiating.

De Las Heras argued: “Video ref had a great view to rule no try. Sooner the better that NRL takes over and gets some quality ref coaching in the UK.”

For armchair fans and ex-players, who generally have a natural aversion to referees, to criticise Liam Moore isn’t particularly surprising. After all, referees are upheld to the highest scrutiny by passionate fans.

However, when a former NRL official who has officiated at an international level calls the decisions into question and suggests a radical transformation of the whole system is another step.

Some fans may recall De Las Heras for when he was knocked out on the field in a scary incident.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Tom Winstanley

    February 25, 2024 at 7:45 pm

    Always moaning the Aussies when it doesn’t go their way different when the shoes on the other foot they want to suck it up and stop whinging

    • Anonymous

      February 26, 2024 at 5:49 am

      You’re talking rubbish. Liam Moore was quick to award a try to Jake Wardle but yet was equally as quick to disallow Tylan May’s try. Also the ball steal that went against Penrith was in the replay a one on one ball steal – perfectly legal in RL rules. I suggest that Liam Moore being Wigan born was clearly bias against Penrith whether it being conscious or unconscious bias.
      The RFL here are ruining the game. Strange how yet another Wigan player in Harry Smith is cleared to play after facing a charge of dangerous contact by the RFL again.
      I hope that the Aussie RL do take over SL.
      The officials here are turning people off the game. Suspicion of corruption at the top goes unanswered.

      • Denise Dickenson

        February 26, 2024 at 7:37 am

        Disgraceful refereeing yet again not players fault really but think penrith were robbed shouldn’t have local refereeing my opinion

  2. Margaret Waite

    February 26, 2024 at 7:54 pm

    In true wigan dialect stop scrickin yer moanin lot

  3. Stephen nicholson

    February 27, 2024 at 9:39 am

    Whinging matildas

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