Leigh owner Derek Beaumont has followed up his outburst about referees with a considered statement stating that clubs should work together to help improve standards of officiating.
Beaumont hijacked the Centurions’ post-match press conference following the 38-0 defeat to Castleford on Monday to blast the inconsistency and general standard of officiating.
Though he received a mixed response, including plenty of support for his comments, it clearly indicated that a solution needed to be explored.
In a further statement, Beaumont said: “My opinions aren’t to protect Leigh Centurions as I am well aware they will probably have the opposite effect, publicly criticising referees, but I love rugby league deeply and have invested a lot of time and money into it and will continue to do so.
“To that end I have spoken out and given the responses out there I have said what a lot of people are thinking.
“I therefore believe the next move is for the club owners to get together or even the coaches and rather than piling a load of hassle at the door of the RFL to professionally document with substance the issues we believe exist, along with some potential solutions, so that together in unity we can ensure the heartbeat of the game gets stronger and louder, reaching a wider audience.”
Beaumont also referenced the State of Origin game Down Under this week as an example of a game allowed to go on with minimal influence from referees “only getting involved when it gets really out of hand rather than at every minor detail”.
He also identified the sheer number of decisions and interpretations that officials must deal with play-by-play.
Far from being the first club owner or coach to criticise officials, it presents another challenge to the RFL’s refereeing department, which is already under scrutiny following the departure of several officials in the last 12 months.