Super League coach reveals his “strong opinion” on officials

Sadly after Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants clashed official Marcus Griffiths was subjected to homophobic abuse online.

This comes as talk about officials reaches fever pitch especially after talk of video referees being at every game in 2024 and beyond.

This has prompted Leigh Leopards boss Adrian Lam to underline what he feels is his “strong opinion” on officials.

He said on YouTube recently:

“I think the referees we’ve got are great. I think, in my opinion, I have a very strong opinion about this. I think we need to invest money into the officials and the refereeing side of things in the sense of giving younger people an opportunity to become referees, a bit of a pathway for them, an area where we can make our referees better through a full-time program.

“That’s not being critical of the referees, I think they’ve done a great job. What I’m saying is that in the NRL and every professional organization, your whole refereeing staff should be full-time. And by being full-time, you get 80 hours of education and next level with it.

“So I think it’s an area where we need to invest as a sport into our officials and our adjudication refereeing and that’s for the best part. That’s to be better at everything that we’re doing, not being critical of that. I just think it’s an area where if we can take that to the next level supported by the third referee and the donor of the video, I think it can only help our game.”

This was backed up by former official Ian Smith:

“The crux of most things within our sport comes back to money. It’s about the investment into the game to make sure that there are cameras at every game, so there is a consistency.

“A lot of criticism has always been about the non-TV games not having the same consistency of the TV games and it’s actually spot on.

“Hopefully this will be a way of getting video refs at every game, but we also need to bring more match officials into the game.

“Adrian (Lam) is right, make it attractive, make a real pathway for the referees to come all the way through. The one thing that will do that is to make it attractive with money as well.

“It’s a fantastic career. I loved being a rugby league referee. I loved being a video referee and there’s a great pathway and a great career for people to come through, but for some reason players that either retire from playing or get injured and can’t play anymore don’t want to come down the match officials route.

“So we’re desperate for more referees but to have video refs at every game is absolutely a step forward but a dozen years too late in my opinion.”