Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Put Your Hand Up If You Got It Really Wrong

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Put Your Hand Up If You Got It Really Wrong

Article excerpt

Byline: league of their own TONY DURKIN

FINALLY referees' boss Robert Finch has conceded one of his boys has made a blunder.

Finch confessed rookie referee Phil Haines was incorrect in sending Sharks prop Luke Douglas from the field after his high shot last weekend on Manly's Chris Bailey. Anyone who saw the incident knew immediately the decision was a poor one, so it's refreshing the referees not to hide behind this obvious blunder.

And while Douglas is free to play this weekend and continue his almost super-human effort - for a prop - by playing his 98th consecutive NRL match, the match review committee should have cleared him on all counts.

The Lower Clarence product was charged with a grade one careless high tackle and, because of his early guilty plea, escapes suspension.

But he still has 84 carryover points, which is an anomaly.

The authorities have agreed the referee made a blunder, yet Douglas sat on the sidelines for 54 minutes last Sunday.

At the very least, as recompense, he should be sent away with a clean sheet.

Like the rest of us, referees are human, and make mistakes. But their errors should not be compounded, as has been the case here.

Heat on Dragons

BACK in 2006 when - en-route to their sixth premiership - the Broncos lost five games on the trot from rounds 18 to 23, Wayne Bennett defiantly refused to concede his team was in a slump.

With that entrenched in my mind, I was stunned to hear the wily old coach use the 's' word after his Dragons were humbled by the Rabbitohs last weekend. In fact his body language at the post-match press conference was that of a beaten man. But two days later Bennett was upbeat. He even conducted a midweek press conference, something as foreign to the taciturn Bennett as a schooner of beer. Not only was he available to the media, but he was bizarrely honest. He confessed his players were not listening to him and the problems at the club were deeper than he had first imagined.

What then, can we read in to this sudden show of transparency from a man whose long-held decree has been 'tell 'em nothing'? …

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