The Melbourne Storm have called on the NRLto 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 inthe final nine minutes to keep its season alive but a string of refereeingdecisions left the home side with a sour taste in its mouth.
Coach Craig Bellamy did not show for hispost match press conference, instead sending assistant Justin Morgan to facethe media alongside captain Cameron Smith.
Morgan was left to spell out the reason forBellamy’s absence.
“We tend to sometimes get a lot ofdecisions that have question marks against them,” said Morgan.
“Some of decisions and some of theinconsistencies. I think it was plain for everybody to see.
“He [Bellamy] is pretty cut up at themoment because he loves his players and he wants to protect his players and Ican see where he is coming from.”
Morgan, who was in fact NRL video refereecoach last season, singled out Manly’s first half try by Peta Hiku that wasinitially ruled ‘no-try’ by referee Shayne Hayne before being overturned uponvideo 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,” saidMorgan.
“The work and preparation that goes into agame is phenomenal and sometimes to see the inconsistencies not only from matchto match but from referee to referee sometimes it is really hard to swallow.
“When you’ve got different people makingdifferent decisions, different interpretations, different levels of experienceas well. There are a lot of great areas.”
It was a frustration that the playing groupshared with the Storm coaches box.
Smith referred to last week's ANZAC test, officiated by Hayne, as one example of the advantages of havingone referee.
“He [Hayne] did a great job and after thematch I don’t think we had any issue with the refereeing.
“I found that Test match really enjoyablejust going back to one referee, which is an international rule, and I felt thegame just flowed so much better.
“I don’t know whether the NRL needs to lookat that whether we go back to one referee, I don’t think either team would havehad an issue with the refereeing last week because he knows how he wants toreferee the game and he views it the same for both teams, that is just my pointof view.
For the record, the penalty count read 7-4against the Storm.
Melbourne will have six days to cool offbefore the travel to face South Sydney next Friday night.