Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Providing conflict resolution
through mediation services

NRL must stamp out inconsistent rulings or risk losing fans

Tim Gavel 31 July 2019 4

Rough justice?: Raiders back Nick Cotric was sent off and outed for three weeks for a dangerous tackle. But the same sort of tackle by Manly’s lock Jake Trbojevic drew a much lesser sanction. Photo: Supplied.

Switch on social media anytime during a televised sporting contest and the emotions are often overwhelming to the extreme, ranging from elation to despair.

Seconds after a fixture is finished the Twittersphere erupts and in the wake of a loss there are calls for a coach to be axed or drastic changes to be made. More often than not we are talking about male sport, rarely does it happen in women’s sport.

Most of the time when the men don’t perform to expectation, the collective fan-anger subsides and life goes on until the following weekend.

Historically in Canberra, we have seen supporters walk away from their teams for reasons other than results. The Raiders lost plenty of long-term fans during and after Super League, and it has taken a generation to win back support to the level it once was.

The Brumbies alienated supporters with a number of actions including removing the ACT from the club name, lifting ticket prices, and moving fans away from their regular seats.

In recent times though, I have noticed a growing number of supporters expressing frustration at on-field decision-making by officials and citing it on social media as a reason why they walk away from a particular sport.

To some extent I can understand the frustration, exemplified by recent NRL decisions.

For the life of me, I can’t see the difference in the tackle made by Manly lock Jake Trbojevic on Melbourne Storm player Jahrome Hughes, and the dangerous tackle made by Raiders back Nick Cotric on the Dragons player, Tim Lafai. Cotric was sent off and Trbojevic was put on report.

Trbojevic was allowed to stay on the field following the tackle on the Storm fullback, before being hit with a grade one dangerous throw charge, which carries 75 demerit points with an early guilty plea. This means Trbojevic is free to play next weekend. Yet for a similar tackle Cotric was sent off and suspended for three weeks.

The inconsistency is driving fans mad.

Then there is the Hudson Young eye gouge for which the Raiders forward is serving a five-game ban, while North Queensland forward Josh McGuire, for the same offence, escaped a suspension for a contrary conduct charge and was fined $3350.

Jarrod Croker has also been the victim of two old-fashioned ‘coat hanger’ tackles in consecutive games.

Whether irate Raiders fans actually abandon the game because of the obvious inconsistencies remains to be seen in the cold hard light of day.

I seriously doubt it, given the fighting spirit displayed by the team, especially with hardly any ball in the first 15 minutes against an in-form Panthers outfit.

But the NRL must address these inconsistencies to ensure loyal fans stay with the code, or risk losing them forever in frustration.


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
4 Responses to NRL must stamp out inconsistent rulings or risk losing fans
Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:20 am 01 Aug 19

The Canberra Raiders certainly get more than their share of “different” rulings.

At the end of the day the NRL is the epitome of big sport business so they really don’t want to see the Raiders in the finals. The ideal outcome is a grand final between two Sydney teams which maximises the crowds and fills the coffers.

Probably few on this blog can remember when the top rugby league competition was non-national and only Sydney metropolitan teams – the Raiders and Penrith came much later under the NRL. The people running the show now would like it to stay as it was pre-NRL.

Stephen Esdaile Stephen Esdaile 10:36 pm 31 Jul 19

#AFL should take note. Umpiring standards are rubbish.

Steve Smith Steve Smith 8:24 am 31 Jul 19

I actually think this is a bit of a media beat up. Most fans understand that a game is won over 80 minutes and that while one incorrect decision can affect the scoreboard, so can a multitude of other mistakes made by players. Refereeing mistakes will always happen, but aren’t exclusively the reason for a result. Refs are human.

    Tim Loader Tim Loader 11:23 am 31 Jul 19

    Steve Smith totally agree - every tackle is different, and seen by a different referee, and viewed from a different angle, and decided by different groups of people. While the inconsistency is frustrating, it's the nature of the process. There's no way to arbitrarily make blanket determinations without causing major disadvantage to individuals.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site