LRL Says: We need to stop moaning about referees

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

We really need to cut referees some slack. It is getting very, very boring.

It is fair to say the last couple of weeks have been tough for the Rugby Football League referees.

Every week there seems to be a referee getting slated over their performance in Super League. But this has got to stop.

It’s really not a good look for our game.

The latest display by a referee that stands out is the one by Scott Mikalauskas on Thursday night. He refereed the sixth round Challenge Cup between Featherstone Rovers and Hull FC.

Three players were sent to the sin bin in the game, while one player was sent off.

Mikalauskas took a lot of criticism from spectators, although he had no option but to give a lot of penalties. It wasn’t his fault that the game was so stop-start due to the penalties. He isn’t to blame for that.

Some of his decisions could be debated, but referees cannot get every single decision correct. It’s impossible.

Some decisions can sway games, for sure, but it is literally impossible for a referee to get every single decision right.

I’m not saying let’s never talk about a refereeing decision ever again, but can we talk about the ‘greatest game’ instead of discussing a 50/50 decision every week?

We self-title rugby league as the ‘greatest game’ for a reason, yet in recent weeks, we have spent more time discussing the performances of referees.

I think the only person who has been a bigger talking point than referees in the last month is Ben Barba, which is great for Barba, considering the amount of talk surrounding referees. It’s sad to see that there are no more talking points though.

We need to thank referees for being referees, especially in rugby league. I’m not exactly sure on how much the full-time referees are paid, but I assume that it wouldn’t be a huge amount, unlike other sports.

Also, there aren’t enough referees in rugby league, so let’s give credit to our referees for continuing to do it every week, despite receiving a lot of stick.

Oh, and another thing…

If the critics think they can do a better job than the current referees, why not try it out?

The RFL are currently on the lookout for talented people to take up officiating – at all ages! Apply here.

Instead of trying to scalp referees, let’s just get on with it, focus on the talent on show and enjoy games.

Long live the day when we can enjoy a round of fixtures without people calling for the head of a referee.