Darren Lockyer was already bewildered when the match review committee opted against charging Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
And after watching the MRC’s video explanation of why the Storm prop wasn’t charged for his ugly move on Warriors hooker Wayde Egan, Lockyer is feeling dizzy.
Asofa-Solomona was widely slammed for appearing to drive his left forearm into the head of Egan as he and two Melbourne teammates tackled him in Auckland on Friday night, resulting in the back of Egan’s head thumping into the turf.
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MRC explains Asofa-Solomona non-sanction
But the MRC again triggered calls of inconsistency when it decided not to punish Asofa-Solomona.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley shook up his weekly football briefing on Monday, playing a pre-recorded video of MRC manager Luke Patten explaining the non-sanction.
“It was a forceful tackle which unfortunately resulted in Egan’s head going into the ground,” Patten said.
“There might be possibly minor contact at the end of the tackle… but that minor contact.”
Patten supposedly has a strong knowledge of the game, having played 282 NRL matches with the Steelers, Dragons and Bulldogs between 1998 and 2010.
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Rather than question the ability of Patten in his role, Lockyer took exception to the officiating system.
“I saw Luke Patten. We saw the words, but if you see him deliver that with his face and voice, your head’s spinning. How are we ever going to understand how the game is officiated?” Lockyer said on Nine’s 100% Footy.
“They’re reading off a textbook.
“We need to get the terminology with the on-field decisions very similar to what they’re doing when they’re reviewing this. The decisions that are being handed down by the match review committee are going into a lot more detail than what the people on the ground are doing, so we’re getting these mixed messages.We need to streamline that, and I think you’ll get a lot more understanding.
“I think where one of the real challenges is, and (where) we get the confusion, is that when you listen to the MRC penalize an incident there’s so much detail in there: separation, elbows. And then for a referee to adjudicate that on the field, whether it’s the Bunker of the on-field referee — they can’t go into that level of detail. So you get one thing, and then you get another thing.”
Gould seethes at length of Cleary ban
Another jarring example of inconsistent officiating was the suspension dealt to Dale Finucane for the Sharks lock’s tackle on Stephen Crichton in round 19.
Finucane didn’t receive an on-field penalty for the contact that left the Panthers center with a badly lacerated ear, but the MRC offered him a two-game ban. He was then slapped with a three-match ban when he fought the charge at the judiciary and failed.
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“Everything’s refereed differently off the field than it is on the field, including the Bunker, including the match review committee and then including the judiciary,” Phil Gould said on 100% Footy.
“They’re all different and they all have different powers and they all have different motivations in what they’ve trying to do.
“The system is flawed and the people are flawed… you’ve got to look at so many different things. It shouldn’t be like that.
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“(It’s the) same as when we’re looking at tries and balls that are up in the air and bobbling around.
“We look at too much detail. It’s all about intent, it’s all about unnecessary risk, it’s all about carelessness or recklessness.”
Gould says he doesn’t know how players and coaches “put up with” this era of the game.
“The difficulty of playing this game now because of the rules and the interpretation and the obsession of the referee and the Bunker and the judiciary… (it’s a) minefield,” Gould said.
“I would hate to be playing in this era, I would really hate to be playing in this era, I would hate to be coaching in this era.”
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