With all the excitement about the upcoming NRL Trials and 9s tournament, a huge story seems to have been over looked, the appointment of Tony Archer as the referee’s boss.
Ok so it’s not a huge story and most people won’t care beyond knowing who to abuse on social media when their team hard done by but for mine, this is a step in the right direction for the under siege referees.
There can be no arguments that the standard of refereeing over the past 2 or so years has been downright horrible. 7 tackle tries have ‘decided’ semi-finals, inconsistency has unfortunately been the only consistency, and I’m still wondering how they gave Greg Inglis that try in Origin a few years back. (Kempsey… that’s in Queensland)
Former referee’s boss Daniel Anderson was never the right man for the job. Anderson spent more time defending obvious errors than he did trying to find ways to ensure they didn’t happen again, perhaps attributed to the fact he has never refereed at the top level.
Tony Archer was amongst the game’s best referees (not saying much but still a fact) and refereed on the game’s biggest stages, Origin, Internationals and Grand Finals. If anyone understands the pressures referees are under it is Archer.
I heard some asking ‘what about Bill Harrigan, perhaps the best referee of the modern era’? Harrigan was a top referee, TOP referee, but couldn’t make the change to referee’s boss. He too fell into the ‘defend before fixing’ mind set and was too busy defending himself from criticism. Harrigan loves the spotlight, hence the nickname ‘Hollywood Harrigan’.
I get the feeling Archer sees fame as a consequence of refereeing rather than the attraction of refereeing.
2 years ago refereeing errors were the talk of the town. In 2013, ASADA took over but was pushed aside after the Sharks scored on the 7th tackle. I’m sure everyone wants to be talking about a great try or a big hit, or a try saving tackle, come finals time, not a 7th tackle try. John Morris’s last grasp try saver on Kane Linnett should have been lauded as the tackle of the century, but was hardly mentioned after the refereeing error.
I expect the standard of refereeing to pick up this year … it surely couldn’t be any worse.
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