HERITAGE Round concluded last night with furious Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart claiming rugby league was “going backwards” as a result of “unfair” and “bullshit” refereeing.
Gold Coast winger David Mead playing 10 minutes of the 28-22 win at Skilled Park with a broken jaw was relegated to a minor details by Stuart’s tirade, the most explosive of the season so far.
It was sparked by an 8-1 second half penalty count against the Eels, who led 16-8 at halftime. Titan Albert Kelly, who left the venue 10 days ago in a knee brace, engineered and scored the winning try in the 73rd minute.
“I really don’t know where Daniel Anderson and these referees are taking the game,” Stuart said in relation to the NRL referees coach.
“There’s no way that they (Titans) were that clean. It was just wrong. It was unfair tonight.
“Get those referees in here to talk about their bullshit errors.
“The game’s turning into surrender, dive on the ground, play the ball. It’s turning into super league era. It’s going backwards. The players, they’re not machines.
“These poor buggers have been kicked like brown dogs over the last two years and they’re just easy to penalise. Penalise Parramatta, penalise Parramatta, it’s happened for the last six weeks.”
Asked if he was suggesting referees went into games with a preconceived idea about Parramatta, Stuart said: “I’m just saying it’s very hard …. I’ve got to be careful what I say … I’d rather not answer that.”
When Stuart was asked to clarify his use of the word “unfair”, he answered: “There’s a lot of other words I’d like to use too. Unfortunately, the beautiful powers-that-be will come down and say ‘OK, $10,000 fine there’. Yep, that’s a beautiful way to escape the attention in regards to what the problem is.”
Stuart contended that while the eight penalties against his side in the second half may have been individually justified, the Titans should have been penalised as well.
“I just feel sorry for the players,” the coach said. “It’s happened every week. We’re just a very, very easy team to penalise.
“We haven’t got any of the high profile players where you can get the penalty and milk the penalty. It’s bullshit.
“That out there tonight was very, very obvious
“You bust your arse all week in preparation. I know what they go through, these boys. To be 7-0 down (in the penalties) in the second half, to be the better football team … it’s wrong.
“The NRL talk to broadcasters, they say don’t bag referees. The referees are there who are interpreting games different to other referees.
“It’s just not consistent. These poor blokes go into a game of football like that, they’re the better team in the first half, the scoreline says so …. “
He said a pass from Chris Sandow to Kelepi Tanginoa in the in the 47th minute, called back as forward, had been nothing of the sort.
“The pass was too good for the ref. Talk about first grade standards, everyone’s got to get to first grade standards.
“Ask Daniel Anderson about that. He’ll come back and give you the sheet I read every week and don’t understand. Obviously I’m not that intelligent.
“No-one’s got any ownership or responsibility.
“Tonight it should have been our game. You can’t have a 7-0 penalty count and win a game of football. It shouldn’t have been 7-0.
“Jarryd, Reni, they go to the referee for an explanation and the explanation’s in friggin Spanish.”
Mead went straight to hospital at fulltime for x-rays. Of Kelly’s amazing recuperation, Nate Myles said: “He should be fined for being carried off one week and playing the next.”
GOLD COAST 28 (A Don A Harrison A Kelly M Minichiello tries B Henry 6 goals) bt PARRAMATTA 22 (J Hayne 2 R Morgan tries C Sandow 5 goals) at Skilled Park. Referees: J Robinson/A Gee. Crowd: 12,047.
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD