Last Tackle: The final say on a jam packed weekend of rugby league

Catalans’ much needed win against Hull concluded a jam packed weekend of rugby league, that saw 10 televised games.

The game in Perpignan was perhaps an advert for not having a double header weekend.

That said, I was a bit disappointed by the gamesmanship shown by the Dragons who only seemed intent on wasting time and causing niggle from around the half hour mark which meant that the game felt like it took an eternity to complete.

Despite their woes, the Dragons are in the top eight, and there is going to be an exciting race to avoid the dreaded Qualifiers in the coming weeks.

Beaumont’s rant

Leigh owner Derek Beaumont used the platform of his club’s post match press conference against Castleford to launch a tirade at officiating in Super League.

Whether you think that’s right or wrong, he is entitled to an opinion, and he may have a point in some areas.

But what troubles me is that all these complaints about referees aren’t moving us any closer to a solution.

Talk all you like about making referees accountable or punishing them for bad decisions, but there are not many about. Rugby league has lost several top flight officials in recent years too.

They may not perceived to be doing a good job all the time, but with no refs, there’s no game.

I’d sooner club owners and everyone else who wants to complain about referees perhaps investigates what can be done to recruit more referees, improve the quality of existing officials and maybe find the revenue streams to ensure the video ref is at all games.

Smith on borrowed time?

Another man who used a press conference to air a moan was Warrington coach Tony Smith, who conveniently distracted away from another poor performance by the underachieving Wolves by blasting the decision to allow their next opponents, Huddersfield, to call off their game against St Helens which was scheduled for Bank Holiday Monday.

He will be even more concerned now, given Catalans win knocked the Wolves out of the top eight, and they could be tenth this time next if the Giants get the better of them.

We’ve had plenty of opinions come in to us about the Huddersfield match. In my personal opinion, there are no issues with it. It’s a sensible move and just the way it goes.

Again the problem with this moaning is that it does little to solve the problem long term. People only seem to speak up about issues when they affect them, and they’ll keep quiet when they’re happy. Now St Helens are blameless in all of this, they went along with it, and have been more than happy to do so.

Perhaps if everyone worked together to sort the game’s issues, rather than simply looking after their own interests, things would move forward.

Summer Bash

The Summer Bash on Saturday was a great occasion. Sure the crowd was disappointing on Sunday, but it’s time we start to embrace what we’ve got – rather than pick holes in the perceived lack of media coverage.

The future of the Summer Bash is unknown. A lot will depend on what happens when Super League clubs meet next month to discuss tweaks to the format of the game which will impact on the Championship.

The worry has to be that if you take out Hull KR and Bradford, then the overall attendance may well have been less than 5,000.

With Toronto likely to join the party next season, and presumably contribute virtually no fans ala Toulouse, selling tickets becomes even harder.

It’s high time that others in the Championship started to try and sell themselves better – rather than blame the RFL or whoever else for their lack of fans.

3 Comments

  1. Beaumonts right we just watched catalans get away with murder and hull penalised out of it by the ref,no complaints about the Watts red card though

  2. I wonder if some sort of levy on the professional clubs should be in place to pay for the salaries of full time officials, to cover their training, costs, development programme, and to work on increasing the overall standards of refereeing. If need be look at doing it in conjunction with the NRL to develop a global pool of skilled referees who can officiate from the World Cup to League 1 matches and the NRL and other cups in Australia. The pool could also work in France, New Zealand and other development areas, allowing each nation in the League Federation to send officials to be trained and hone their skills through a refereeing academy. The speed of the sport is such we need professional officials who can keep up with the sport.

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