William Botoulas, Melbourne Correspondent, NRL.com
The Melbourne Storm have called on the NRL
to go back to a one referee system in the aftermath of its thrilling 22-19 win over arch rivals Manly at AAMI Park.
Storm snatched victory with two tries in
the final nine minutes to keep its season alive but a string of refereeing
decisions left the home side with a sour taste in its mouth.
Coach Craig Bellamy did not show for his
post match press conference, instead sending assistant Justin Morgan to face
the media alongside captain Cameron Smith.
Morgan was left to spell out the reason for
“We tend to sometimes get a lot of
decisions that have question marks against them,” said Morgan.
“Some of decisions and some of the
inconsistencies. I think it was plain for everybody to see.
“He [Bellamy] is pretty cut up at the
moment because he loves his players and he wants to protect his players and I
can see where he is coming from.”
Morgan, who was in fact NRL video referee
coach last season, singled out Manly’s first half try by Peta Hiku that was
initially ruled ‘no-try’ by referee Shayne Hayne before being overturned upon
video review as one example of what it viewed as constant inconsistencies.
“They have a difficult job we know that,
but at the same time so does Craig, the coaching team and the players,” said
“The work and preparation that goes into a
game is phenomenal and sometimes to see the inconsistencies not only from match
to match but from referee to referee sometimes it is really hard to swallow.
“When you’ve got different people making
different decisions, different interpretations, different levels of experience
as well. There are a lot of great areas.”
It was a frustration that the playing group
shared with the Storm coaches box.
Smith referred to last week's ANZAC test, officiated by Hayne, as one example of the advantages of having
“He [Hayne] did a great job and after the
match I don’t think we had any issue with the refereeing.
“I found that Test match really enjoyable
just going back to one referee, which is an international rule, and I felt the
game just flowed so much better.
“I don’t know whether the NRL needs to look
at that whether we go back to one referee, I don’t think either team would have
had an issue with the refereeing last week because he knows how he wants to
referee the game and he views it the same for both teams, that is just my point
For the record, the penalty count read 7-4
against the Storm.
Melbourne will have six days to cool off
before the travel to face South Sydney next Friday night.