“No referee, no match” – French referee defends Liam Moore after Grand Final criticism

James Gordon
Referee Liam Moore champions ref cam

French official Benjamin Casty says the criticism of Liam Moore will do nothing to help the referee crisis in France which he calls an “emergency”.

Catalans president Bernard Guasch slammed Moore following the Dragons defeat to St Helens in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday.

He said that he would refuse to participate in any future Grand Finals unless a group of Australian officials were brought in.

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A number of incidents at Old Trafford caused controversy. An early punch-up between Sione Mata’utia and James Maloney saw the Saints forward banned for one match by the disciplinary panel this week, though he avoided any punishment on the day.

Catalans also felt they should have had a penalty try for the incident early in the second half. Tommy Makinson was sin-binned for a high tackle on Fouad Yaha as he went for the corner.

Tommy Makinson (2) of St Helens is sent to the sin-bin after receiving a yellow card from referee Liam Moore

The decision to penalise Sam Tomkins in the late stages for an incorrect play the ball also raised eyebrows.

Casty in support of fellow referee Liam Moore

But Casty, the younger brother of former Dragons captain Remi, has hit out at the criticism. He says the sport faces a crisis unless it can attract more people to take up the whistle.

He said: “It’s the first weekend of our (French domestic) season and we will face a shortage of referees.

“We are all responsible, referees, federation, clubs, leaders, supporters to name a few.

“The evil is deep, and the little phrase that made you smile some time ago, ‘no referee, no match’, this weekend will make you cry!

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“And unfortunately after a past weekend which suggests better days for rugby league in France, some are unleashed on the referees (insults, threats).

“Yes, there is always something to be said about officiating, all over the world, in all sports. What do you think? A referee who is wrong does not necessarily see it well. I speak knowingly, nights can be shortened, even more if there are threats, insults and so on.

“The referee is human and has the right to make mistakes, just like a player and a coach on a tactical or other choice, so let’s think before.

“Do you think it will solve the problem to shower your hatred on referees? No, quite the contrary. 

“On the other hand, if 1% of those who went wild took a referee’s license to show their talent, we would be quiet. But we know their answer.

“I am not here to give lessons but to be alarming because there is (an) emergency. The survival of our sport depends on it.”

RFL to investigate Bernard Guasch comments

The RFL have since said they will investigate the comments made by Guasch in the aftermath of the Grand Final.

CLASSLESS: Guasch’s comments were classless – editor’s column

Earlier this year, Casty was appointed to the International Rugby League’s Elite Match official squad. He will take charge of the upcoming international between France and England.

Back in 2017, St Esteve player Hedi Ouedjdi was banned for life after knocking Casty out with a single punch after the referee showed him the red card in a junior cup semi-final against Toulouse.

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