Do you think the sin-binnings on Sunday were warranted?What needs to be understood by all is that when a referee draws the line in the sand … the captains need to heed that warning. The referee is looking for a response to that, because quite clearly up to that point his penalties have been ineffective. When that response is a strip on the next set … I was comfortable with that sin-binning, and the process in which they went about it … What I’m not comfortable with is the fact that they sin-binned the wrong bloke.So do you feel the warning was warranted?Of course it was. There were 17 penalties conceded in 61 minutes. That meeting [with captains Luke Stuart and Nathan Cayless] was preceded by a number of chats with both captains in both halves on the issue of penalties. If the referee believes his penalties are ineffective and a side is not taking any notice of them, he’s got to move to the next level, which is the sin bin. He gave both captains the chance to rectify it on a number of occasions, and they failed to do so. That’s the issue.Did the referees lose control?Not at all. The bottom line is, he believed that neither side was adhering to what he wanted, so he moved to his next tool, which was the sin bin.Do you think Beau Champion deserved to be binned?He hit him in the head. It closely followed the strip penalty, and the sin sin. Stuart was spoken to as well. Quite clearly they [the Rabbitohs] didn’t respond to it either. The message to captains is, ‘We’re not just having a chat, we need some response to your football team’. Will the referees in question be dropped for sin-binning the wrong man?That’s a decision that I’ll make [today] with my support staff and other coaches. We’ll sit down as a collective group as we do each week and make judgment on that. Do you think the referees talk to the players in an acceptable manner?Some younger referees, finding their legs in NRL, have a bit to learn, but what I will also say is Bill Harrigan has said to me on many occasions that he was the same when he started. Has the dual-referee system brought some referees into the NRL too early?It has brought them in too early, but it’s brought them into an environment that is far better to blood in than the previous system, under one referee. Two referees has allowed these young fellas to come in in a far less volatile environment. But are they NRL-quality referees?Yes they are. My word they are. One of the criticisms levelled at referees is they have inflated egos. Do you agree?Yes, they do have egos. To do the job you’ve got to have one. There’s plenty of players that have egos. Refereeing is the most difficult job in the game. Unless you’re confident about yourself, how can you survive? You never get any pats on the back. It’s always criticism, it’s always, as you say, refs in crisis. How would you like to work in a job where there are no accolades? Are the Key Performance Indicators unwieldy?Not at all. They’re discussed every year with coaches. We change them regularly because the game changes. We need to keep on top of that. But penalties are down this year, ruck speeds are where they should be, tries are up. All those things confirm that they work. Have the rules become too black and white, with no room for interpretation?I’ve heard since I was a little boy that coaches, players and media want consistency. They’ve created a far more consistent environment, where everyone knows what you can and you can’t do. Either you want consistency across eight games, or you don’t. We’re providing consistency. We now get cries from some people that don’t want that consistency. This is what is puzzling to me. The obstruction rule causes conflicting opinions each week. Does it need an overhaul?It’s overhauled every year. It’s just had one. But Des Hasler and Wayne Bennett have both been critical of calls which you say were correct.Des Hasler knows exactly what he can do. Wayne Bennett knows exactly what he can do. Both were part of the overhaul of obstruction. They were there, they had the opportunity if they didn’t agree with it. They didn’t voice that. I don’t see that as our problem, I see that as theirs. There have been calls for your sacking. Are you going to resign?I love it. I love the challenge. I listen to my employers, and at this point in time, they haven’t called for anything. My job is to coach referees, I will continue to do so.
Nanjing Night Net