Yesterday we saw some big games as Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Leopards collided, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity met in a crucial game but the match of the day, maybe even round, was the meeting between Salford Red Devils and Salford Red Devils though Salford boss Paul Rowley branded it as “a good game spoiled.”
This was because he was dissatisfied with the officiating in yesterday’s defeat to St Helens.
Part of his frustrations stemmed from the fact he felt his side played well but came up short against the Champions and that result doesn’t help their play-off hopes with Hull FC building up speed.
“It’s so hard. If we’d have won the game, I’d come in and say probably exactly the same thing. I thought the officials were a disgrace,” he said on Salford Red Devils TV.
“I think Jack, I’ve watched him on telly, he’s been a disgrace a few times this year, one for us at Warrington at home. So three games in a row now we’ve been absolutely let down.”
He questioned why Salford don’t get the best two officials in the shape of Chris Kendall and Liam Moore saying Salford’s games must been seen as poor games.
“So clearly Kendall and Liam Moore are the best two refs who get all the cup finals, we don’t get them too much so we must be deemed poor quality games.”
He then stated that the “gloves are off” as he criticised the officials:
“It’s kind of gloves off, I’m usually quite measured and take my time I don’t like to criticise because we’ve lost obviously, but again, I’d have said the same thing in victory.
“Games are very much decided by officials quite often and the obvious response to that will be, ‘they don’t miss a tackle’, ‘they don’t do a forward pass’, and no they don’t, but they don’t get batted 25 times a game either so a lot of it is just visual.
“Then when you’ve got a bright pink boot four foot in front of you on a touchline, then you would hope that somebody competent would make the right decision. As a result of that the sequence continues and we get a man in the bin and then there’s a try scored from a knock on.
“Usually in the last two games we’ve been on the wrong side of things and I never tread that path with the players. I always worry about what we can do and what we can do better but I’m finding it very, very hard to go in there and hit the players with a stick because I think they did everything we asked of them.
“I thought we were physically good, I thought the game was decided by the officiating. I can’t be any clearer than that. I’m happy to put it out there and I think it’s factual. Well I know it’s factual and so I don’t think I can be criticised for saying it as it is.”
He also implored the media to give their own opinion: “Once you’ve finished quoting me, put your own opinions out there as well or please tell me if I’m wrong but I can see a lot of heads nodding so I’m going to assume you all agree.”
Many coaches have questioned the officials this year and there has been a suggestion that it is in fact the rules letting down the officials and maybe that is the case.