The NRL’s ‘demotion’ of under-fire referee Gerard Sutton has left Warriors hooker Issac Luke fuming.
Part of the fallout from last weekend’s controversial decision to award the Sharks a try against the Raiders was Sutton being ‘demoted’ to the Warriors’ clash with Gold Coast on Sunday.
An NRL tweet on Tuesday said: “Two of the match officials involved in last Friday night’s #NRLSharksRaiders match have been dropped and another two demoted”.
Two of the match officials involved in last Friday night's #NRLSharksRaiders match have been dropped and another two demoted for this weekend's round of #NRL fixtures.https://t.co/l29FuuanUj pic.twitter.com/7be2LAB5zc
— NRL (@NRL) July 24, 2018
And a story on the NRL’s website said Sutton had been assigned to a “lower-profile” match.
But Luke took to social media on Wednesday, saying he was insulted by the term ‘demoted’.
“What an insult. @NRL uppercut yourself. That’s dispresectful (sic) to both teams. Lessssssgoooo Boys,” Luke wrote.
Penrith Panthers boss Phil Gould voiced a similar sentiment on Twitter, saying the description of a demotion was demeaning to both the eighth-placed Warriors and the 12th-placed Titans.
“It highlights naivety, insensitivity, inexperience. All the things that have referees in the situation they currently find themselves,” Gould wrote.
To describe it as demotion is demeaning to teams involved. It highlights naivety, insensitivity, inexperience. All the things that have referees in the situation they currently find themselves. All this can be fixed. I honestly believe it. But I can’t see these people fixing it. https://t.co/xrmMioO9iQ
— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) July 24, 2018
Bennett speaks out about Bunker debate
He is no fan of the NRL bunker but Wayne Bennett has called for critics to stop slamming the system and just accept that it is “never going to be perfect”.
Brisbane coach Bennett has also laughed off NRL CEO Todd Greenberg’s call for referees to “get better” in the wake of last round’s controversial Cronulla-Canberra clash.
Debate has surrounded the bunker’s future after howlers in Cronulla’s win capped a fortnight of on-field drama for NRL officials, with Canberra coach Ricky Stuart labelling the bunker a “waste of time”.
“It annoys me enormously because you guys keep beating up on it, nothing is going to be perfect okay,” Bennett said.
“Unless we stop the game and have five, 10 minute analysis and we come back and make a decision – it’s an imperfect game, all sport is.
“We keep driving this agenda where everything has to be perfect.
“Well, the players aren’t perfect and I have never coached a perfect game in my life and I have coached 1000 of them – it’s never going to be perfect.”
Bennett said coaches who complain about the bunker should take a look at their own backyard first.
“Let’s get on with it, accept that the technology has improved it but we are still going to get things wrong,” he said.
“Who is talking about all the missed tackles or soft tries they (Canberra) gave up?”
Greenberg said this week the bunker was here to stay but urged officials to “get better” after confirming Canberra-Cronulla officials would pay for their errors.
Assistant referee Gavin Reynolds and touch judge Ricky MacFarlane were demoted in the fallout over the Cronulla-Canberra clash.
“I want perfection every week but I never get it. Todd won’t get it either (from officials),” Bennett said.