Referees are part and parcel of our sport and ultimately the sport wouldn’t exist without them.
That however doesn’t mean that they’re always the most appreciated members of our sport and at times they come in for their share of criticism.
Whether that’s fair criticism often depends on which team you support and how your team fared that weekend.
It’s often overlooked how hard a job being an official is as well but the lack of accountability is something that fans take issue with at times.
That’s not the case in the NRL this weekend as it’s been confirmed that two officials have been dropped from their duty for the upcoming games.
It comes after the hugely controversial Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm game during NRL Round 11.
Todd Smith and Gerard Sutton have both paid the price for their below par performances and won’t partake in round 12 this weekend.
Graham Annesley, NRL Head of elite football operations, holds a weekly review in which all games are examined and the Broncos Storm game was found to have many wrong decisions within it.
“The Bunker are getting a feed from every single camera, I think in this game they had 12. Each screen has a different angle and part of the role of the Bunker is to pick the angle that gives them the best view, in order to make a decision.
“Sometimes under pressure, under time constraints they won’t always look at the best available view.
“While every effort is made to ensure it happens, sometimes these things do happen. I’m not trying to brush the significance of this aside because they do have a big impact on games as losing a player to a sin bin is a big penalty to a team.”
Annesley confirmed that the decision penalise and sin bin Carrigan were “incorrect decisions”.
“This has the elements of a hip drop tackle. There’s a grab, a twist and the body is dropped to the ground but the critical factor is where the body lands,” Annesley said.
“The body falls on the ground with daylight between his (Carrigan’s) body and the Storm player’s legs. He doesn’t fall with his full body weight.
This is not a hip drop… There was a penalty and a sin bin called which were incorrect decisions.
“There were three elements of a hip drop tackle there except where the body weight landed which is the most critical factor.”
As such both men have been downgraded this week meaning Smith will run the line in the Cronulla and Newcastle game, whilst Sutton is downgraded from the bunker to the job of referee for Canberra and Manly’s clash.
Pathetic. Did Annesley never get one wrong? These guys are twice the official he was !