UPDATED: The NRL has charged Ben Pomeroy with a dangerous throw charge on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on Monday night. Unsurprisingly, the Roosters did not receieve a penalty in the game for this despite the video referee being able to see the replay more than once following an initial call of a scrum to the Roosters.
What makes the decision even more special is that the referees, despite seeing the video replay, reversed the scrum decision and gave the feed to the Sharks, despite RTS being lifted past the horizontal and dropping the ball because of it. It was a lift deemed dangerous enough to charge, but not dangerous enough to award a penalty and apparently not dangerous enough that it explained a knock on sufficiently.
So there’s that. Wow.
But I digress.
Normally, a coach claiming the refereeing was poor is something the majority of us can shrug off. Unless of course that coach is Geoff Toovey, and what you brush off is spit from an angry yet justified diatribe.
But if there is one thing Trent Robinson hasn’t done in his successful first stint as a first grade coach, it’s complain about the referees even when he had every right to do so. So when he does, it’s a cause of concern for the NRL and a rare opportunity for Roosters fans to be slightly happy after a loss.
In the post-match press conference following the Roosters’ 32-22 loss to tbe Cronulla Sharks last night, Robbo was as measured as he was critical of the referees, and won’t be at risk of a $10K fine. But what he said will be ears to many a Roosters fan crying out for the coach to fire up about the referees on behalf of a disgruntled fan base that has every right to be pissed at the referees during a season when the Roosters have become the most penalised team since 1996.
When asked if he was frustrated with some of the refereeing calls, Robbo, with a smile on his face, began what Roosters fans have been waiting 24 rounds for.
“It was a bit frustrating, yeah,” he said. “I had the sports ears in in the box and we had two lost ball calls from the pocket that turned into penalties; we had the touch judge call a forward pass and he runs backwards like they keep doing and then that try…”
(The try he is referring to is when SBW offloads to RTS to score, but the tries is disallowed because Daniel Tupou is ruled to have obstructed.)
“…That try was just… we got a DVD at the start of the year that said you can’t dig a hole [and disappear] and he didn’t run around the back of him like Ashley [Klein] said, so that’s a try,” he said. “That’s a really poor call from them. They got that wrong.”
The Roosters, with that try, would have been at 26 to 16, and Robbo went on to say that the decision in effect cruelled their momentum.
“It would have made them a bit nervous,” he said. “I don’t think we saw the ball for quite a few sets after that, so that was disappointing.
“We weren’t good enough tonight, they [Cronulla] were good but that’s not good enough from the refs.”
Too right. While it’s not a Toovey-esque spray about the refs, it is a change of pace from what we are used to from Robbo. We were crying out to pay the $10K fine on his behalf (one dollar a member) following a similar disgraceful performance from the men in pink during the Storm game, and the offer still stands.
I doubt he has any worries about being fined following this press conference, but it’s the first time he has at least partially blamed referees for a loss — and again, this is the most penalised team since the Parramatta Eels in 1996.
But just in case, get a dollar ready, every last one of you 13,751 Roosters members. 26 Rounds will hold a bucket outside the Titans game on Sunday should Robbo face sanction for this. And let’s be honest, it’s not out of the realm for the Roosters to be penalised for something amounting to a 50/50 call.