Harrigan, Raper sacked as NRL referees

Melanie Dinjaski, Yahoo!7 October 26, 2012, 4:16 pm
Harrigan, Raper sacked as NRL referees

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Long-standing rugby league referees Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper have been sacked in an NRL refereeing restructure.

The restructuring is set to affect the leadership group within the refereeing department.

Australian Rugby League Commission Interim Chief Executive, Shane Mattiske, praised Raper and Harrigan's contribution to the game.

"Bill has made an incredible contribution to refereeing in a career that will forever stand out in the game’s record books," Mattiske said.

"He and Stuart have worked incredibly hard over the last two years in particular and there is a strong sense of gratitude on our part for their efforts, but we also believe that a new structure is needed."

General Manager, Nathan McGuirk, said the NRL were looking to take things in a different direction. McGuirk alluded to the numerous disputed calls made by referees this year (particularly video referees) as another reason for the decision.

"Nobody could criticise their commitment but as we have reviewed the year from a number of perspectives it has become clear that we need one person to manage what is a high performance team," he said.

English referee Russell Smith has been appointed to hold the single role that Harrigan and Raper shared, in an interim capacity. Smith will also assist McGuirk in establishing a revised refereeing squad for next year.

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16 Comments

  1. Stan12:48pm Saturday 27th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    a sad day , these two men are being made scape goats , the big clubs complain when things dont go their way and this is what happens - what shame Aust sport has become

    Reply
  2. Beerwolf11:40am Saturday 27th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Maybe they can get jobs being AFL umpires? AFL umpires suck pretty bad too!!!

    Reply
  3. David11:29am Saturday 27th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    well about time thats two dudd deals gone now it's time for thier shonky sidekicks to fall aswell.

    Reply
  4. Rick Richard08:39am Saturday 27th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    As the saying goes, a new broom sweeps clean.

    Reply
  5. seek1mor08:20pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Struth Owen, you are a prime example of why more people are shying away from reffing. It's palookas like you that ensure that the reffing standard remains so low. By the way Owen, have you ever thought about taking up the whistle???

    Reply
  6. Owen08:09pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    MAKE REFS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND CHECK OUT THEIR FINANCES refs are just like anybody else and can be bribed, THE GAME STINKS FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP Video REFS WILL HELP IF RAN BY HONEST PEOPLE.

    Reply
  7. seek1mor07:45pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    No doubt we have a problem in the ref department but constantly bagging them is not the answer. With the constant criticism from the paying public, radio and TV callers as well as the players will not encourage young blokes to become referees. The more refs to choose from, just like players will raise the standard which will in the long term benefit the game. I would like to see more players take up reffing when they retire from playing. They, more than anyone else understand the game and would make a considerable contribution to elevating the level of reffing. Having said that, I can't see it happening. As for Bill Harrigan, well, he was a good ref but that doesn't translate to being a good administrator on his part. Maybe ego has something to do with it.

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  8. Joseph07:32pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    WOW !! Bringing someone in from outside the mob............. Perhaps they're actually serious about getting corruption out , and making it a straight game again ! Perhaps they could even bring back the game of rugby league , and #$%$ this television spectacle off .... How good would that be .............. People would flock back to it in droves if they allow 'em to play rugby league again , especially if the result's not pre-determined . The criteria for being the no.1 ref should not be your ability to manipulate a result WHAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR ........ Wish my dad could have lived to see it

    Reply
  9. chris07:19pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    About bloody time billy H has buggerd the game up for years. Put the refs on match money not contracts.Then drop them for errors

    1 Reply
  10. Peter06:06pm Friday 26th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Out of the Frying Pan and into the fire. English referees interpret the game in an entirely different way than we do here. Surely the NRL could have appointed someone with local knowledge.

    Reply
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