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Andrew Voss asks if NRL referees are getting enough respect?

Andrew Voss takes a look at some of the best rugby league bloopers of all time, gives his opinion on respect for referees and gives a young halfback a big rap.

Where does the Raiders' golden point blooper rank?

Sorry boys, but I think this deserves further discussion.

Back in my Channel Nine days, I hosted a program called "Boots 'n' All". And the best league bloopers in history all got a run.

Since the show ended a decade ago, I've witnessed a few beauties too. So I feel I am well qualified to put forward a strong case on this topic.

To Jack Wighton and Jordan Rapana, I'm letting you off the hook. You don't get the gold medal, even though your contribution was bizarre. To see Rapana change hands to throw his flick pass is right up there on the "what the hell was he thinking" scale.

But when ranking bloopers I think you have to take into account the occasion. It is for that reason from the last few decades, I rate Shaun Kenny-Dowall's intercept pass for a Brisbane try after just 57 seconds in last year's grand final qualifier as top of the heap.

But I feel compelled to give an honorable mention to Parramatta's Paul Carige infamous downfield kick against Canterbury in 1998, Ben Hunt's dropped kick-off in Grand Final golden point last year, and Sonny Bill Williams slipping over the dead-ball line and bombing a certain try for New Zealand against Samoa at the 2013 World Cup.

And to former Canterbury winger Max Mannix, your Belmore runaway no-try is still in the hall of fame!

Should we have more double-headers?

Yes… but let's not overdo it.

I thought last Saturday night was sensational for the NRL from every aspect. The television ratings on the night were also huge as Fox Sports gave it a 'State of Origin like' broadcast. Elements such as the coaches being interviewed on ground during warm up, close to kick-off was great access for the fans watching at home.

I applaud Manly and Melbourne for the initiative. Perhaps we could have another double-header during the year, but I think that might do it. 

And while the Magic Weekend is a drawcard in Super League, I don't believe we need to go that far in the NRL.

Are the referees being shown enough respect?

I still see this as a problem in light of Cameron Smith's first-half exchange with Gerard Sutton on Saturday night.

If the Australian, Queensland and Melbourne captain believes he can push the envelope as far as he did in disputing a penalty, then it's time to review how we handle things.

The guidelines are clear. A referee has a duty when asked at a stoppage to explain a ruling, but it's not then the job of the captain to engage in a prolonged argument as Cameron did.

The perception from most fans is that Cameron, because of his well deserved status in the game, can get away with more. No one talks a better game than the Storm captain. He's smart and articulate.

But that shouldn't stop him being threatened with the sin bin, and that is what I believe arguably the NRL's number one referee should have done at Suncorp Stadium.

And you can make of it what you will that for the next 40 minutes, the Storm were never penalised.

How good is the Gold Coast's Ashley Taylor?

How could anyone not be impressed with what he has achieved this year?

It's incredible how things have turned out. If Daly Cherry-Evans had have gone to the Titans and Kane Elgey wasn't injured in pre-season, there is a big chance we might not have seen Taylor in first grade at all this season.

The former Broncos junior star has seized his opportunity with polished displays in his nine games for the Titans. And he was at it again on Monday night against the Roosters.

The way I see it, you can build clubs around young stars like Taylor. He's a keeper!

Who wins, Cowboys or Broncos?

I'm tipping the Broncos to make it a season double over the reigning premiers, but I'm even more confident in the game being another classic.

Incredibly this is the sixth time the two teams have clashed in the last 15 months with Wayne Bennett's side holding the advantage at 3-2.

The stats tell us the Cowboys have won their last three at home against Brisbane, scoring at least 27 points on each occasion. 

Overall in Townsville the record reads 15 wins to Brisbane and seven to the home team, however five of those Cowboys victories have come in their last six meetings.

We've already got the race that stops a nation. With the Cowboys-Broncos rivalry so firmly established these days, this is the match that stops a state!

Do you love a stat?

I think you know that I do.

But if you weren't aware of the one regarding Melbourne's Jesse Bromwich and Suncorp Stadium, be prepared to be amazed.

His record at the ground after last Saturday night is now eight from eight. Jesse has won six games with the Storm, and two with New Zealand over Australia at the ground.

That's pretty hard to top for a visiting player at a ground that is host to usually such a strong side.

On that basis, I wouldn't have been surprised if Laurie Daley had done a quick check of Bromwich's family history and searched for a link with New South Wales!

And on the stats front, spare a thought for young Jack Cogger who had to endure a 62-0 defeat on debut for Newcastle last Sunday. That effort tops the scoreline of rookie prop Josh King's debut in Round 7 when the Knights were beaten 53-0 by Brisbane.

The only way is up fellas. Keep in mind the Test cricket debut of Sir Donald Bradman. That was in a match Australia lost by a whopping 675 runs to England - a record defeat that still stands today in the history books.

I'm looking forward to calling the Rabbitohs v Dragons on Thursday night, and the Sharks v Sea Eagles on Saturday night on Fox Sports 1 this weekend.

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

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