Tag Archives: newcastle-knights

NRL video referrals a joke!

meWith the 2015 NRL season only three rounds old, there have already been too many instances of poor decisions being made by the video referee. One wonders why the NRL has the system if the referees continue to get it wrong.

The NRL Laws and Interpretations regarding video refereeing are straight forward and indicate that, when called upon, the video referee will assess if there is ‘sufficient evidence’ to confirm or overturn the decision made on the field. If there is ‘sufficient evidence’ that the on field ruling is correct, the decision is to be confirmed. Conversely if there is ‘sufficient evidence’ that the decision is incorrect, the decision is to be reversed. If there is ‘insufficient evidence’ the on field decision should be confirmed.

Just looking at the last round, there were three referrals that bear1426851722530 scrutiny. In the first game of the round Manly were awarded a try to Steve Matai after video review. The ruling on the field was ‘no try’. The video evidence did not show anything conclusive and certainly did not provide ‘sufficient evidence’ of a try. When viewed in the light of the NRL Laws, the on field decision should clearly have been maintained. But it wasn’t. Fortunately, the decision did not affect the outcome of the match.

CAsOoOaUgAAguqR.jpg-largeIn the second instance, both the on field referee and the video ref both missed a knock on prior to a Newcastle try, that just about everyone else in the stadium and viewing on television saw. It looked very clear on the video replay. The Knights wen on to defeat the Gold Coast Titans 20-18. The botched call cost the Titans the match and two precious points.

Finally, a try to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was disallowed notwithstanding the video evidence showed the ball was grounded in the corner. Video ref Shayne Hayne agreed with the on field official’s no try decision even though the video showed there were four of Watene-Zelezniak’s fingers on the ball.

NRL referee’s boss Tony Archer, after looking at these decisions conceded the Newcastle decision was incorrect but said there won’tNRL RAIDERS RABBITOHS be a change to the system. I would agree! The Rules relating to video referral are quite sufficient if they are adhered to.  Further education on the Rules needs to be provided to the people who are reviewing the decisions. If that doesn’t lead to improvement, then the NRL needs some new video refs.

Players, coaches and fans all deserve to have consistent interpretations so that they can have confidence in the system. Anything less is not good enough.

Titans in major state of disrepair…can NRL intervention fix that?

Feb 20 2011 006The Gold Coast hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Rugby League. There have been three prior attempts at life on the Gold Coast in the form of the Giants, Seagulls & Chargers between 1988 & 1998. It is fair to say that not one of those teams covered themselves in glory and each one ended in failure.

As a comparator, Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights were also admitted in the same year of 1988 and they have won eight premierships between them.

The NRL sought to revive the Gold Coast push and introduced the Titans in 2007. It is arguable that they are an upgrade on the three prior teams, having made the finals in 2009 and 2010. However, they have struggled to retain stability in their playing list and flashy signings haven’t worked out for them ie. Jamal Idris leaving after two years of a five year contract. That combination has led to the inevitable decline in crowd numbers over the last three seasons.

Since late 2014, the Club has made headlines for all the wrong reasons starting off with the Club being unable to afford to remain at their ‘Centre of Excellence’ base at Robina due to an inability to afford the rent. They are currently in temporary accommodation and still looking for an administration and training home just a week away from the start of the NRL season. If that was not enough, the Titans are without a major sponsor for the 2015 season and given recent media attention, are unlikely to find one thereby exacerbating financial pressures.

With two strikes on the scoresheet, the third strike came in the form of a number of players being charged by the Queensland Crime Commission with drug charges. Some of those charged, Greg Bird, David Taylor, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Beau Falloon would have formed an important part of the team in 2015 and have all been stood down until further notice. They could well miss the entire season.

Checking Nick Tedeschi’s NRL Punter’s Guide, he says as follows of those players:

Bird – Blue chip player – one of the strongest runners in the game, a staple of the Australian and NSW teams, a big game player.
Taylor – was at times devastating in 2014. His freakish combination of size and skill only countered by an equal lack of football intelligence.
Falloon – Club’s top hooker. Had best season in 2014 winning the Club’s player of the year gong.
Loa – Probably third in line for a wing spot but is a better player than Gordon and Mead and should get a look in at some point.

Earlier today, the NRL in the form of CEO Dave Smith indicated that the NRL will be taking over the troubled franchise. He says there are no thoughts of relocation or of winding the team up. Positive sentiments indeed, but the club is a basket case!

One wonders, given what has transpired since the end of the 2014 season, why it took so long for NRL HQ to step in. There were certainly enough indicators for much earlier intervention.

If as expected the Titans have a poor season on field (Tom Waterhouse had them at $6.00 for the wooden spoon – he probably has stopped taking bets on them with recent developments!), sponsors and crowds will stay away and make saving the franchise that much harder. Perhaps the Titans are that badly broken that even the NRL can’t save them.

Friday musing – Alex McKinnon, NRL, Nathan Berry, T-20……

Chris Barwin HillsI guess there has been a bit of bad news in the world of sport this week with the confirmation that Alex McKinnon may be a partial quadriplegic and the death of jockey, Nathan Berry.

I don’t profess to be an expert on rugby league and I have no view on the tackle being illegal or not, but it does seem that similar instances occur every week and this looks to be a tragic accident. The NRL had to be seen to be doing something and while the Melbourne Storm may be aggrieved with the penalty, in deference to the injured player I think they should simply accept the penalty. I did think it was interesting that the Newcastle Knights came out and suggested that all three tacklers should have been cited, but if that was the case it may have been more difficult to sustain a charge. Either way it is a true sporting tragedy.

The death of Nathan Berry was also a tragedy, but it does not seem it was in any way linked to his sport, just a diabolical condition that struck him down in his prime. He was due to ride Unencumbered in the Golden Slipper this Saturday and I might just have a small wager on it for sentimental reasons.

Talking about the Golden Slipper, Earthquake looks hard to beat, but it does have a difficult barrier. Perhaps it will have to go into a quinella with Unencumbered.

I note that the T20 World Cup is coming to a conclusion. I don’t know about you, but since the football season started there has been no interest in the cricket or this tournament in particular. This may be linked to the poor performance of Australia and the fact that it is on pay TV, but it is also not getting much coverage in the newspapers either. Does this bode well for the World One Cup in Australia/New Zealand next year? I would have to answer in the negative, but I have already purchased my ticket for the final.

Have a great weekend!

Sportzfan Radio show #237.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!4 March 2012 237.2 – In the  second hour of the show, the Professor asked Daniel what had happened to the NBL season as it seemed to have disappeared with the playoffs beginning soon and the AFL and NRL overshadowing basketball in the news.  Sportzfan Stan’s view was that the league’s management needed professional help to increase interest in teams, awareness of games and boost revenues. His feelings were shared by the rest of the panel with discussions centering on the NBL’s lack of promotion of the game and a remedy involving a shared venue with other sports such as netball leading to increased awareness.  Daniel reviewed the NBA giving his opinion on the teams, their standings and whether Clipper Darrell had been harshly treated . He also looked at the Twitter tag #BlameLebron. The NRL report from Paul Dalligan included highlights of St. George’s win over the Tinkler Knights. The win surprised Dalligan as the favoured Knights played well. The Professor thought the Raiders v Storm match was the game of the round so far with Billy Slater’s brilliant late try winner being a feature. Dalligan congratulated The Professor on his Bulldogs pulling out a win after overcoming a 14 point deficit. The Panel also discussed Essendon’s no-show for their match on Saturday with St. Kilda in Wangaratta and the AFL originally splitting the game points between the two teams with all in agreement that St. Kilda should receive all four points. Last moment thoughts from the Professor had the Panel discussing the Grand Prix and Bernie Ecclestone’s annual threat of axing the race.

Sportzfan Radio show #236.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!26 February 2012 236.2 -Wayne Holdsworth , CEO of the Southern Football League explained the reasons behind the expulsion of the Doveton Eagles from the League stemming from racial slurs and intimidation of umpires in a 2011 elimination final. This was not the first time the Club had been expelled as in 2010, their coach had been found guilty of coaching whilst his accreditation had been suspended. Wayne also discussed that due to lack of resources, community leagues don’t conduct drug testing. On a positive note, Wayne firmly believed that within three years there will be a professional Australian Rules national competition for women. The Panel discussed the Sydney Kings choice of Shane Heal as their head coach position for the remainder of this NBL season. Daniel believes that in order to increase interest and attendance at NBL games, something needs to be done to boost scoring to make it more entertaining for spectators who want to watch a more fast-paced game. Paul Dalligan provided his NRL 2012 season preview and weighed in with his picks for the first game of the NRL season picking Newcastle to win the first game of the season at home against the Dragons. He also thought the Bulldogs would beat the Panthers and the Rabbitohs would get over the Roosters.  Paul gave his final 2012 ladder predictions including his top eight. He said it was difficult as the competition is one of the best in years.  Surprisingly, not in the top eight were the reigning premiers, Manly, after losing their coach to the Bulldogs and the Brisbane Bronco’s who he saw finishing in the basement due to the loss of several top players.

Sportzfan Radio #190.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!20 February 2011 190.2 – Mark Fiorenti talks about the headlines during the week ‘Soccer crowds worst of any code in Australia’ and wonders why these headlines have appeared at the start of the A League finals – he queries whether it is a conspiracy. He then looks at the finals already played and previews the Gold Coast United/Melbourne Victory game. On Kevin Muscat’s retirement he feels that Kevin’s passion sometimes led to some unfortunate consequences on the pitch. He did not expect Arsenal to beat Barcelona in the Champions League tie. Sportzfan Stan thinks Chelsea’s coach should be sacked as they have only won 6 of 19 games recently.  The Panel discuss the NBA All Star game and the voting that sees Yao Ming in the starting five even though he is injured and won’t play in the game.  Daniel says that the voting in the celebrity game was suspect as Scottie Pippen was clearly the MVP but Justin Bieber, who did nothing, got the nod as all the teenage girls voted for him.  He says if he had been Justin Bieber he would have handed the award to Pippen.  Daniel believes Blake Griffin will try to dunk over a car in the NBA dunk contest.  He still thinks Carmelo Anthony will end up with the New York Knicks even though Nets have improved their offer.  Paul Dalligan calls in from the golf course and talks rugby league and says Nathan Tinkler couldn’t offer any more to the Newcastle Knights.  There are also whispers that Kade Snowden and Wayne Bennett could be heading to the Knights.  Daniel picks up on a tweet from an Adelaide 36ers player who alleges that the accommodation arranged by the Perth Wildcats for visiting teams is sub standard.  The Gelding talks World Cup cricket and the selection of the one day team.  The Panel then talk with Sean Callanan on sports social media in particular the ICC banning any social media use by players and officials.  Sean says it is the case of another large sporting organisation not understanding the benefits of social media.  He believes that as long as there is a policy and guidelines, that should take care of any problems.

Sportzfan Radio #189.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!13 February 2011 189.2 – Daniel asks the Gelding why Richmond didn’t put a side in that had a chance of beating Carlton in the NAB Cup so that they could get at least try and get through to the next round. The Gelding didn’t like the alternate jumper and says the Tigers shouldn’t have taken away the yellow sash. The Professor says that the lid is definitely off with Melbourne winning the first two pre-season games. Daniel thinks the NAB Cup is a circus with teams having to wait to play a second game. It can’t be good for the game especially with the introduction of new rules – Daniel says whoever introduced them should be sacked.  Mark Fiorenti comes on to discuss soccer and he takes positives out of the defeat in the final of the Asian Cup.  He is definitely right behind Holger Osieck as coach of the team as he has emphasised team unity.  He discusses the A League which is coming to the crunch time of the season and also thinks it may be North Queensland Fury’s last game.  In Premier League, Mark looks at the Man Utd & Man City derby.  Paul Dalligan is looking forward to the Charity Shield later tonight between St George and South Sydney.  He says Wayne Bennett is on fire as a coach and he won’t tip against him in the game, the Newcastle Knights are all cashed up behind Nathan Tinkler and are chasing players and the new NRL Commission needs to be appointed by 30 April 2011 as that is when New Limited intends to step away from the NRL.  Paul then looks at the ABL championship games between Perth Heat and Adelaide Bite.  Daniel says Tom Walter the basketball coach of Wake Forest donated a kidney to save one of his players, Kevin Jordan but the College had to first check with the NCAA to make sure it didn’t break any rules. The Professor says that is taking rules too far.  Sean Callanan comments on Super Bowl XLV and the effect social media had on the event.  He also discusses Sportzfan Radio’s attempt to get Aaron Rodgers on the program.  Finally, the Panel differ as to whether Shane Warne and Liz Hurley are a worthy story or not.

Sportzfan Radio #186.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!23 January 2011 186.2 – Paul looks at Nathan Tinkler’s offer to buy the Newcastle Knights.  He thinks that it will make the Knights stronger.  There is also a discussion about Melbourne Storm again being in the news with a fan under threat of being sued over comments posted on social media.  Shane Harmon, Communications Director for the Rugby Union World Cup in New Zealand comes on to talk about the World Cup beginning in September.  The global TV reach will be greater than 4 billion people over the six weeks of the tournament with 1.5 million attendees at the matches.  Mark Fiorenti with a big smile chats about the Socceroos making the semi finals of the Asian Cup with Harry Kewell hitting the winner against Iraq in extra time and now going on to play Uzbekistan in the semis.  He also looks at A League and Premier League results.  The Panel discusses the shrine to be built to remember Paul the oracle octopus.  Mark says FIFA should consider decalring a calamari free Friday as a tribute.  Bogus Powerbalance bracelets also come in for examination and Nick believes it says something about the intelligence of our athletes.  Nick also comments on the selection of the Australian cricket one day side for the World Cup.   He thinks the overlooking of Brad Hodge is astounding and defies logic and belief.  Paul reviews the upcoming ABL finals and how the first season has developed.  He says it is the best value for your sporting dollar that is going around at the moment.  A tweet from a listener provokes a discussion regarding Channel 10 dropping Kelli Underwood from the commentary box to the AFL boundary line for season 2011.  Nick says if she is good enough she should be in the commentary box.  The Professor feelks she may have been rushed in without serving an apprenticeship calling football at a lower level.