Catalans owner vows never to play a final again under English referees

Catalans owner Bernard Guasch at Nou Camp
Bernard Guasch says he was incensed by the decisions of referee Liam Moore and the rest of his officials during the Dragons’ 12-10 defeat by St Helens in their inaugural Grand Final at Old Trafford.In an interview with the Perpignan-based L’Independent newspaper, Guasch says he endured a sleepless night after watching the match again and viewing incidents he claimed changed the course of the game.Guasch says he was particularly angered by the lack of action over an early punch by Saints forward Sione Mata’utia and the failure to spot full-back Lachlan Coote putting a foot in touch as he palmed a Catalans penalty back into play.

Guasch says the club intend to compile a dossier of crucial incidents to send to the Rugby Football League and, although he knows it will not change the result, he intends to remain firm on his demand for neutral referees in future.

“As long as I’m president of the Catalans Dragons, I’ll never play a Super League final again until we have three Australian referees,” he said.

“I’m furious, at some point I say stop? I wanted to react like an English gentleman because I have a lot of respect for this competition.

“I am proud to have lived these three extraordinary days at Old Trafford as the English know how to organise them.

“But I saw the match again and I tell myself that I cannot let this go by without reacting and making a decision.”

Read More: Steve McNamara hails Saints side as one of the all-time greats


  1. Same over all the forums. Liam Moore is a class referee and always a model of integrity. Thank goodness RFL realised he was head and shoulders better quality than Kendall the previous blue eyed boy

    • At least as many decisions went Catalans way. Mata’utia was retaliating to Maloney forearming him in the throat. Nothing said about the knees into Naiqama’s head when he was scoring his 2nd try (ending his match). Makinson’s first contact was on Yaha’s shoulder so a sin binning was harsh (several head-high tackles on Saints players got only a pen)

  2. refs unfortunately decide who win most games always been so but todays crop are inferior to their predecessors it is one of the major reasons that fans are deserting the sport in addition to certain superleague greedy clubs who have repeatedly dragged a fair game into the gutter.
    Most importantly if anyone considers Liam Moore is a half decent ref I really fear for rugby leagues future.

  3. Eamonn McManus got slaughtered for having a go at Hicks after the Challenge Cup loss to Warrington a few years back …..will the administration react similarly with the Catalan owner??? Thought Catalan coach was a class act in defeat, I though their social media was a class act in defeat, this is sour grapes just as I thought saints chair was a few years back. He is basically calling the ref a cheat, at a time that Ref society in Yorkshire pulled refs from matches for abuse. No ref no game.

    • He will get away with it , when you look back over the years catalans have been supported through thick & thin without any regard for grass roots rugby-league, this again will be swept under the carpet by our great RFL ….

    • Sour grapes the games is over 80 mins. Plenty of time for Catalan to win despite perceived grievances. Saints were the better team.overall, especially in defence.

  4. ….also just watched the Mata’utia incident again, Gausch conveniently fails to mention Maloney dropping the elbow in first to the saints players face, then if that retaliation slap was a punch??? Catalan owner is rightfully fed up he lost, but the class others showed from his team, is very Gallic style tossed out the pram.

    • Saints gouging in tackle when getting up, happened no end of times in first half. Also deliberately give penalty away under pressure, 2 points instead of maybe 6, done in all season. Teams tend to take the 2.

  5. Sour grapes the games is over 80 mins. Plenty of time for Catalan to win despite perceived grievances. Saints were the better team.overall, especially in defence.

  6. Have to agree,saints are left to mess about at the ruck and how was the sin bin not a penalty try and the Tomkins incident and decision at the end was laughable-need to introduce captains challenge and some decent refs

  7. Catalan have deliberately failed super league games to better there position in the league …covid after covid .picked which games to play and when not to play ….dont moan now look at some decisions that have gone your way

    • Catalans postponed ONE game (Warrington away)all season due to covid. Nearly every other team called more off so your point is completely inaccurate.

    • Catalans only cancelled one game. Away at Warrington. All the other games were cancelled by the other team. And even after that they still played two more games than Saints.

    • It wasn’t a penalty try as Makinson put him touch before he put the ball over the line therefore it would never have been a try

  8. I would have expected a bit more Decoram from the Catalans President and admit they were beaten by a better team on the night, maybe he should take his Club and play in the NRL if he wants Aussie Refs, who aren’t much better if at all, sour Grapes springs to mind, well done Saints (Wakey fan)

  9. I have to say I don’t agree totally with his assertion that the Ref had a one sided game but I do agree with his issue around the Maloney kick to touch and I believe Saints got away with a holding down too long which in the NRL would have drawn 6 again every time.

    • Serious question have to be asked about some of the officials decision! Why we still do not operate the NRL Bunker System is beyond belief, they are constant in touch with referees, even after a try has been awarded they can instruct the referee they want to look at it again. Several crucial decisions Moore made were very questionable! Penalty Try? which lead to a yellow card, a dangerous head tackle on Sam Tomkins! Even one touch judge had join in, allowing a ball back decision, when the player had his feet clearly on the ground when he patted it back into plat, it’s not good enough in a final, offside at times was a joke!

      A final is far too import to ignore this!

  10. Needs to look at his little angels. Had refs not made mistakes in previous rounds and RFL not allowed Catalans to pick and choose which games they played they woulsn’t have made the final. Refusing to play unless he gets what he demands he’s effectively taken his team out of Super League.

  11. You seem to want a penalty try he was in touch before he went over 5he tryine and also you seem to forget that saints should have had a penalty try at magic weekend which eventually cost them the match referees are human and nobody will ever get the decision right every time

  12. First it wasn’t a punch it was a push. Secondly, Maloney instigated the incident. Third, when Saints scored the winning try Yaha was put on report for dropping with the knees. That should have been a sin bin and an eight point try, as there was foul play in the act of scoring a try.

    As the old saying goes “People who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones”

  13. What a load of crap. The french team got away with so much grubby tactics.
    How is a knee to the head not a sending off?
    The saints winger pulled out even though he got it wrong, shouldnt have been in the sin bin.. If that was a sin bin. Catalan should have had a few yellow cards.

    The coote foot missed was poor but catalan got the ball bacl straight away anyway so thats a crap excuse.

    What an absoute bellend. I hope the rfl punish him accordingly.

  14. I totally agree with Mr. Guasch regarding the Officials at the Super League Grand Final. Saints holding down in the tackle, slowing the play down, as they have done for years,Ma’tautia should have spent 10 minutes in the bin for striking. No one can argue with that, not even the Saints fans, (although they will), and as for Coote planting his foot into touch before knocking the ball back into the playing surface, what was the linesman looking at, he was right there, on the spot, and did nothing. Yes it was a great final, like the NRL Grand final, just two points the difference, but it could have been so different had the Officials been on top of their job.

    • What a load of codswallop. It is quite obvious the poster J K A is seething with dissapointment because he has just witnessed yet another St.Helens victory.

    • Matautia was not mist ref watched it and it looked like a push handbags at best both should have been yellow cards for elbow to matautia and punch to one of the mosted dirtiest players in super league and got away with it all season. Penalty try give it a rest first contact was shoulder but ended in the head penalty at best but going off other games except yellow as for the rest you could go tick for tac all day and would get same results saints was the better side and deserved the win. As for referees really need to improve too many discussions about the referee in our game when it should be about the teames

  15. Must agree on the couple of decisions he has commented on but come on don’t go down as a bad loser like that prat McManus, who incidentally seems to be keeping his mouth shut when the decisions have gone his way.

  16. Of course all the players and officials cheated. However, if I had played, or officiated for that matter, everything would have been perfect and the victory easy. Unfortunately, I was in the stands, but that doesn’t stop me from knowing everything, and of course finding fault with everyone, except me.
    Signed Knowall

    • Well said! The ref makes an on the spot decision, from where I was sitting at home, in front of a 50 inch screen, watching numerous angles and replays, I could see some dubious calls as well, there were infringements from both teams which were missed, some were seen and penalised, but as I said, with the benefit of multiple angles and replays and hindsight, we would have been perfect refs on the day😉

  17. Are the people on here saying that Catalan didn’t hold down in the tackle what about the foreharm to the throat first on ma’tautia from maloney his style of play all season and got away with most of it and a player going on report for going in with the knees in the tackle on naiqama who took no further part in the game officials make mistakes every game don’t suppose Guasch will be putting the incidents I mentioned in the complaints dossier he is sending to the rfl

  18. Guasch is a complete racist ….

    Lomax 21 minutes minutes gone then 2 incidents in 5 minutes by kasiano went unpunished …2nd half malony standing on a players ankle & not allowing him to get up etc etc…come on catalans certainly had the rub of the green ….
    If he doesn’t want to have English refs ….why doesn’t he form his own French league & let Featherstone into super league……
    At least Featherstone would bring more fans in …..
    Quote 45000 last nite at Old Trafford.
    2 seasons ago saints v Salford 65000 or there abouts ……I rest my case ….the French bring nothing to our game …..
    Also compare challenge cup final attendance in recent years when catalans won that ….probably around 20000 fans down that year aswel…

    • A bad head tackle on Jonnylomax went unnoticed in the 1st half…what has he got to say about that. The Dragons are bad lovers and bruisers.

    • No one should be allowed to bring in accusations of racism spuriously.The mans upset about from his point of view some dodgy refereeing decisions and it’s not wrong to call out the ref if you think your right.I often think the ones who constant wave the racist card are the ones that are.

  19. As in most games, the way you see things depends on your starting point. As a Saints fan in the stadium, I felt that there were a number of things that didn’t go our way, just as the Catalans fans in Wigan, Warrington, Leeds and Perpignan feel that some things should have gone more in their favour.
    Bernard Guasch needs to be careful what he wishes for. An Australian referee might not have been so tolerant of Catalans tactical “injuries” that only seemed to happen when Saints were on top. The same referee might not have looked so leniently on the high tackle on Lomax in the first half, which looked pretty similar to Makinson’s tackle that got him sin binned. I felt that there was a good deal of lying on and slowing down the play the ball by the French team that rarely got punished. Others may not agree with me, but, overall, the officials do a good job in a highly charged atmosphere.
    One final point. I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous decisions from Australian officials over the years, so they’re not perfect either.

  20. Accept his offer of resignation from Super League. Unfortunately this is what happens when you make children feel important, they want more. The RL have been chasing this French dream for years trying to make them something special. This outburst is the result. The French hate the English, many UK rugby fans hate Saints, it’s all about success, Saints have it so man up and accept it! And for the little man from Catalans, you probably won’t get to a final again, so we should replace Catalans with Toulouse. We definitely don’t need two moaning French ‘Macrons’

  21. Well pick your dummy and ball up and go and play in your own league,I have never seen as many empty seats in a grand final,your fans don’t travel and imo Super league pushy foot around you to keep you sweet,BAD LOSER,END OF CONVERSATION

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