Are NRL commentators biased against your team? Here's the truth

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Greg Alexander, pictured here before the round five NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders.
Greg Alexander (R) looks on before the round five NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Greg Alexander has given up trying to convince fans match callers and co-commentators are neutral.

"It's pointless. Every match you get half of the fans saying "why don’t you like us? Why don’t you give us a fair go?" the veteran Fox Sports analyst told Yahoo Sport Australia.

"Fans are like that. If you go against their team they think you hate that team.

"We don’t care who wins. We just want to call a good game."

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Fox caller Andrew Voss and Alexander worked the Manly-Canterbury match last Sunday and, like many fans, were left dumbfounded by a number of decisions.

Many of those rulings went against the embattled Bulldogs and Voss and Brandy didn't hold back, calling out what they felt were injustices.

Alexander's not on social media but was not surprised to hear there was a pile on from Sea Eagles fans incensed at what they were felt was a bias against their team.

It's pretty much the same response every game he calls, regardless of the clubs involved.

"Some fans will be disappointed in what you say about a decision or a player or a moment because it doesn't favour their team, but you call it as you see it." Brandy said

"They think you've got a set against their team but it's just not true. If you listen to the fans, there wouldn't be one team I like.

"If the referee gives a favourable decision to a team that I don't agree with, well I just don't agree with it. I don’t care who it is."

Alexander will make one small concession. Broadcasters obviously prefer close contests over blow-outs, knowing the audience will go the journey rather than switching off once it becomes a foregone conclusion.

That could lead to some subconscious rise in excitement levels among callers.

Brandy pointed out: "The Dogs were paying $23 on the TAB before the game and Manly was $1.01. I don’t think I've ever seen that.

Manly and the Bulldogs, pictured here in action during round 24 of the NRL.
Manly and the Bulldogs in action during round 24. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

"So if the $23 outsider is leading at half-time, there might be something in your voice that says 'wow, this is unexpected'.

"As a caller I don't mind which way the game goes, but that was a pleasant surprise to see the Bulldogs so competitive."

Due to his links with Penrith, Alexander doesn't call Panthers matches to remove any perception of bias.

He said: "I don’t even venture into the fray. It's a no-win situation."

The premiership-winning half has been at this caper for over 20 years and remains one of the best analysts in the business.

Josh Morris' classy exit

If you've got a spare 30 minutes, do yourself a favour and watch the Josh Morris retirement press conference.

In a week where we've seen the worst side of rugby league, Morris reminds us there is still a place for decency, humility and even humour.

Morris thanked his friends and family, current and former teammates and coaches and talked openly about his footballing journey and the early struggles and sacrifices his single mother made to ensure he and twin brother Brett lived their dream.

He also managed to get a plug in for a new craft beer – Cattleman's Lager – he's set to launch with mates later this month.

"It's a mid-strength lager… we’re all dads and we can’t drink full strength beer anymore," J-Moz said.

"It's been a pipedream (and) over the past year we have developed something we are really proud of… that’s going to be a project after football.

"There was plenty of taste testing to get the flavour we wanted. We hope the punters enjoy it as well…but drink it responsibly."

Josh Morris - all class.

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