Phil Gould tees off on NRL Bunker, officials after ’embarrassing’ Rabbitohs-Roosters clash

Phil Gould has teed off on the NRL Bunker, following a heated clash between the Rabbitohs and Roosters on Sunday afternoon.

In a crazy match that saw seven sin-bins and numerous players sanctioned by the match review committee, Souths advanced through to the second week of the finals with a 30-14 victory at Allianz Stadium.

Victor Radley and Taane Milne were both sat down twice for varying incidents, while front-rowers Tom Burgess and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves are facing suspensions for dangerous tackles.

Speaking on 100% Footy, Gould shut down claims that it was a ‘good spectacle’ and slammed the officials for turning the match into an embarrassing one for the code.

“I saw very, very few incidents in that game that should warrant a sin-bin,” he said.

“But from the time they sent Victor Radley off in the first three minutes with an absolutely innocuous event the standard was set, and they decided that they would just forge on with it for the rest of the game to get that result.

“To me, that is an embarrassment to our code. Our code has embarrassed us a number of times over the last few seasons, but that was culminating to where I always feared it would get to.

“That was not a game of football. It was not a great advertisement of our game.

“I’ve been saying for 10 years that the Bunker was the thin end of a wedge that would end up destroying this game.

“You get a reaction like we have to HIA and concussion and the way we’re treating those and you get an oversensitive refereeing group.

“There’s obviously directions to the match review committee and to the Bunker on the way they think this game should be officiated, and it results in the frustration and everything that we saw.”

James Tedesco, Angus Crichton and Tom Burgess all failed their respective HIAs during the game, with two of those injuries coming as a direct result of foul play.

With so many stoppages in play for injuries and sin-bins, the game was marred in controversy and left referee Ashley Klein facing enormous scrutiny for the way he handled things. 

Sharks legend Paul Gallen agreed with Gould’s sentiments regarding the spectacle of the match, and believes the Bunker should only be allowed to intervene for try-scoring situations. 

“Everyone is talking about what a great spectacle it was – the crowd was great and the atmosphere was great, but it wasn’t a great game of footy,” he said.

“There were so many stoppages and players laying down – that’s the part that is not a good look for the game. The game has done it to itself, I don’t blame the players for doing it – they are playing for keeps.

“If the referee and two touchjudges can’t see anything wrong with the tackle, play on and let the game flow. I think the Bunker should be only brought in for try-scoring opportunities.

“The referee needs to take control of the game. Give the referee control of the game back. The match review committee gets him anyway [for a high tackle]. We’ve got to accept the referees are human beings. They may make mistakes throughout the course of play.

“Besides Origin, this is one of the biggest rivalries in Australian sport, and we saw absolute rot on the field…it wasn’t good footy played at all.”

Burgess will miss two games for the Bunnies following a high shot on Tedesco, ruling him out until the grand final, while JWH will miss three matches for a head slam on his opposing prop.

Gould also took umbrage to the tactics displayed by Latrell Mitchell, who pleaded with the referee on multiple occasions to penalise Roosters players for foul play.

“Latrell Mitchell made a farce of rugby league yesterday, and he was within his rights to do so,” he said.

“A couple of times, he just refused to get up and play the ball. He looked at the referee and said ‘I know it’s not a penalty, you know it’s not a penalty, but let’s see what the bunker thinks’ – he made a farce of the game.

“When you get down to the big games and the moments count, the players are playing with the rules and playing with the referees, and that’s what Latrell Mitchell did twice.”

South Sydney will take on Cronulla on Saturday night in the hopes of booking a spot in the prelim finals for a fifth-straight season. 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.