IF sport doesn’t have umpires, referees and match officials, then we don’t have any competitions. It’s as simple as that.
The six NRL officials, including the two referees, two touch judges and the two video referees, got dropped for stuffing up the tackle count in the Cowboys and Sharks knockout semi final.
The Sharks scored a try on the seventh tackle early in the game.
It wasn’t until just before halftime that news of the ‘‘seven tackle’’ fiasco was broadcast on Channel Nine. Then all hell broke loose.
There is never a dull moment in the finals every year.
I am sure there is more to come in the next few weeks.
Yes, the match officials concerned had to take their bad medicine, and whistle blowers Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara as the main officials, were made the fall guys, along with the touch judges and video referees.
Personally, Cecchin and Perenara shouldn’t be punished forever, they made a mistake and had to sit out the footy this weekend.
And calls from the Cowboys claiming conspiracies against them is rubbish.
They got a dud call and it was a mistake, a big clanger, but not a hanging offence.
Whether it be at NRL level or junior rugby league level, referees make mistakes. Players make mistakes, coaches make blunders. We’re all human.
The same applies for the AFL at all different levels of competitions, as well as rugby union, soccer, hockey, netball, cricket, basketball, tennis, athletics and so on.
Junior associations in big sporting local government areas such as Parramatta, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Penrith and Baulkham Hills and Blacktown are the lifeblood of the community.
In recent years sporting officials have borne the brunt of criticism and even abuse from spectators. The more we lose these officials, the more the kids playing the sports will suffer.
Give the referees and umpires a fair go. They deserve it. These people give of their time to put something back into their communities. Many of the match officials have played or coached in their chosen sport.
It’s a tough job. And I say to those critics of match officials, do an accredited course yourself and become a referee or umpire. Put up or shut up.
Jumping back to the NRL, I am tipping Manly to defeat the Sharks.
Master coach Wayne Bennett will have Newcastle ready for the big clash with premiers Storm in Melbourne but I think the Storm will just get home in a thriller.