Brown attacks RFL Officials

Nathan Brown launched an extraordinary attack on rugby league match officials after watching his side claim their first win at Headingley since October 1960.

Leeds prop Ryan Bailey and Huddersfield loose forward Luke O’Donnell were both sent off midway through the second half after an all-in brawl sparked by Bailey’s off-the-ball challenge on Kevin Brown.

Referee Ben Thaler first dismissed Bailey before giving O’Donnell, complete with ripped shirt, his marching orders.

O’Donnell increased the temperature by goading Leeds fans on his way off the field but Brown was left outraged by what he’d seen.

Brown raged: “It was disgraceful. Luke O’Donnell has run in and hasn’t thrown a punch. Kevin Brown got hit late (by Bailey), which the referee saw, then he got picked up and punched. Luke should have run in and knocked him (Bailey) out. That’s what he should have done.

“If key players get hit late, you’re supposed to get frigging sent off. It’s an absolute disgrace. The officials have got to start doing something about it or you’ve got to tell your players to do it.

“He’s actually playing well too is Bailey, but the sh*t in his game… O’Donnell should have knocked him out cold and given him some more.

“Next time we’re playing, if they start hitting Kevin high, that’s what I’ll be instructing Luke to do unless the officials start growing some cahoonas and do something about it. It’s the third frigging week in a row.

“You’ve got an obligation to protect your players. If my players did it, I’d expect them to get sent off. It’s a frigging disgrace.”

Dale Ferguson had scored twice in the first half as Huddersfield built up a 20-0 lead.

Danny Brough‘s penalty and Jermaine McGillvary‘s try added to Leeds’ frustration and Bailey, who had earlier had a run in with Eorl Crabtree, eventually lost his rag just nine minutes into the second half.

Scott Grix and Brent Webb were both sin-binned later on for holding down Webb and Brough respectively.

But by then Shaun Lunt‘s first try had cancelled out Rob Burrow‘s score before Luke Robinson and Lunt again made sure of the points.

Leeds boss Brian McDermott, whose side have now won just two of their last eight, admitted: “It’s not about the technicalities. I think it goes deeper than that.

“I’m not confident in much at the moment, but what I am confident of is that there are a group of people there that are in a place they don’t want to be. They’ve got a massive work rate and great effort, and it’s puzzling because it’s just not happening on game day.”


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