DEFIANT Ricky Stuart says he hasn’t changed his mind on the standard of refereeing since being fined $10,000 for his famous Skilled Park rant a month ago.
The Parramatta coach was furious over a number of calls in Saturday night’s 19-18 win over Brisbane, not least the decision to send Eels replacement Mitchell Allgood to the sin bin after he copped two direct blows to the head by rival Josh McGuire.
Stuart says the frustration he expressed on April 14 is now widespread
“I’ve got to say, from what I said on the Gold Coast, my opinion has not changed,” Stuart tells Rugby League Week.
“I’ve got to be careful why I say but Daniel Anderson and his referees have not got any better.
“You get Mitchell Allgood who is punched twice in the head – I don’t know anyone who would cop that and wouldn’t defend themselves. How does he get sent to the sin bin?
“It’s not just me – many other coaches are getting very frustrated at things that are happening out there … frustrated and confused.
“They fined me but I haven’t changed my mind at all.”
Stuart’s use of the word “unfair” and contention that clubs lower down the competition table were treated differently resulted in a sanction for bringing the game into disrepute. It was found that he was accusing match officials of pre-judging teams, which is an attack on their integrity.
But the Rugby League Week poll found that most players agreed with Stuart. Asked “do lesser clubs cop a rough deal from refs?”, 54 per cent answered yes.
“What do we do about it? I’m stuffed if I know. It’s not my job,” Stuart said.
Another winning coach on the weekend, Gold Coast’s John Cartwright, was furious with the match officials.
While St George Illawarra coach Steve Price identified three distinct calls which went against his men in the 15-14 loss, Cartwright was so furious at a disallowed try to fullback William Zillman that the coaches box couldn’t contain his anger.
Cartwright roared: “We could have lost today’s game – and ‘the Titans are struggling again’. Bullshit!
”I was that ropeable, I couldn’t talk. I had to get out of that box I was ropeable – and I still am now, as you can probably tell.
”It would have been a tragedy if we lost that game, it just wouldn’t have been right.”
Like Stuart, Cartwright contended his team was from “a small club” and that refereeing errors are not highlighted as much as they are for glamour teams.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK