RFL to investigate comments of Catalans owner after Grand Final defeat

Catalans owner Bernard Guasch at Nou Camp

The Rugby Football League says their compliance department will consider the comments made by Catalans owner Bernard Guasch following their Grand Final defeat.

The French side fell short to a 12-10 loss to St Helens in their maiden Super League Grand Final on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, Guasch said he would never again allow his side to play a final under English referees after being frustrated by the officiating at Old Trafford. He said he was particularly disappointed by the lack of action over an early punch by Saints forward Sione Mata’utia on James Maloney.

Guasch, whose side won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2018, wants there to be neutral referees in future finals.

A furious Guasch

In an interview with Perpignan-based newspaper L’Independent, Guasch said: “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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, St Helens back-rower Mata’utia and Catalans hooker Michael McIlorum have both been given one-match bans by the RFL’s match review panel for foul play.

Mata’utia was charged with a Grade A punching offence on Maloney, whilst McIlorum has been charged for an alleged trip. Both players have until Tuesday morning to challenge the punishments.

Meanwhile, Catalans coach Steve McNamara paid tribute to Grand Final winners St Helens, saying Kristian Woolf’s side are one of the all-time greats.

McNamara said: “We’ve come into our maiden Grand Final and we’ve been beaten by one of the greats in St Helens… you have to say that now after winning three Grand Finals in a row.”


    • Personally I think he has a fair point, particularly as Mata’tuia was given a one match suspension later, and not receiving even a penalty against him in the moment. ‘Blind’officials? Whilst I am all for keeping the game open and moving ,such oversights are not acceptable. Neutral officials is not a bad idea and should perhaps be considered for future finals. Remember as from 2022 we will have two teams from across the Channel!Sour grapes? I do not think so.

  1. I’m sure a Wigan ref really wanted Saints to win. Absolutely pathetic! Didn’t here any complaints when Maloney shoulder charged Batchelor at Magic. Or when they hit 2 high tackles and dropped knees on naiquamas head in the final. Referees are joke and so is Gausch

  2. Of course he is entitled to his blinkered opinion.. But we have numerous great finals in our great game.. Never heard any other teams who have lost whining like this.. It brings into question the integrity of our officials which I think is totally out of order…. I have seen games in France where opposition teams have been on the end of some dubious decisions… Didn’t hear him moning then… Sore losers…

  3. He needs to watch it back and then pick up on the all the punches his players were throwing in while players on the floor especially the lame attempt from the bearded midget who if you were a neutral you would have thought the entire game was all about him…

    You lost, accept it move on try again..

  4. M.Gusach’s public comments, whilst understanable cannot be condoned.

    Having said that, as Superleague becomes more cosmopolitan there will be a need for a wider pool of referees certainly French referees need to qualify at top level.

    The incident in back play was missed and I wonder if the video referee should have a wider view of the game and be given the power to ‘raise a flag’ in the event of foul play or error by an on field official.

    Everyone accepts that there was a blatant error by the touch judge failing to see that a player was in touch. That could have been flagged by an empowered video referee by drawing it to the attention of the official.

    • They video gers have the right to stop a match at any time for serious foul play and he should have done
      Gaush has a fair point not good officials again but rfl fans are well used to it
      The officials get 60000 a year not with any of it

  5. And the elbow by Maloney was not punished by RL why as it was that elbow why matautia reacted knees to head also in fact there should be a few bans dealt out

  6. Even as a Saints fan i agree that Matautia should have been at least sin binned for the punch, 100%. But like a lot of people have said already, knees to the head (dangerous contact with the head) is 10 mins in the bin. The constant provoking by Maloney, constantly badgering of the ref by Tomkins and again Maloney. The high tackles on Lomax and Coote especially. I don’t think Gaush has a leg to stand on here.

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