Former NRL referee Bill Harrigan has told News Limited that Chris Sandow should have been sent off, not given ten minutes in the sin bin, for asking referee Ben Cummings “How much are they paying you/”.
I tend to agree with Bill Harrigan, you can’t go attacking the integrity on any official so directly without being dealt a harsh penalty.
In the past a number of players have been sent off for making similar remarks. When Sandow left the field the Eels fell apart, and you have to wonder if the referees are a big gun shy at the moment to send players from the field due to the scrutiny such decisions come under after the match.
NRL referees have a really tough job. I don’t think they get the support they need from the NRL itself. Coaches, players and supporters are always quick to get stuck into referees, especially when their team loses.
It is always easier to blame the referee for losing a match than it is to say you simply weren’t good enough on the day.
I don’t think referees are anywhere near as bad as most people will have you believe. Yes they stuff up from time to time, but they are human. Players make mistakes during a game, why shouldn’t we be prepared for the referees to make them during the course of play?
Video referees are different. They need to be making the right decisions when they have multiple replays to get it right. On field officials however make hundreds, if not thousands of decisions during a game. I think supporters should cut them a little more slack.
Having said all that, Sandow should have been sent off. A sin binning wasn’t good enough.