Sport

‘Thugby League’ deters referees in regional areas

BULLDOG YOUTH: A supporter gestures at the end of the round five NRL match between Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium. PHOTO: MICK TSIKAS
BULLDOG YOUTH: A supporter gestures at the end of the round five NRL match between Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium. PHOTO: MICK TSIKAS

IT SEEMS rugby league has become a sport that cannot be played without controversy.

The Good Friday clash between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs was testament to this, marred by player dissention and hospitalised referees.

Group 2 Referees Association secretary John Cullen said NRL incidents were affecting the game in the regional centres.

"The kind of weekend we've just had doesn't help with referee recruitment," Cullen said. "When you see refs in the NRL put under the pump, young refs become nervous about joining up."

But Cullen said Group Two will not be marred by these types of controversies this season with all referees to be respected by teams.

"Most people in this group are very tolerant," he said. "They know we are all volunteers and giving up our time to do something we love.

"We don't have a lot of dramas about people complaining about calls in the middle."

Last season an incident occurred when a former South Grafton Rebels halfback Jay Melrose threatened the match official, James Maggio, who subsequently called full time and walked away from senior refereeing.

Group 2 sent a clear message that this was unacceptable by suspending Melrose for the season and Cullen believes the message was clearly received.

"We did lose an association member from that incident," he said. "But that is the worst incident I can remember for over two seasons. I don't expect anything like that to come about this season.

"The players know it is unacceptable."

The Group 2 refereeing ranks are currently stretched thin with some officials required to pull double shifts on the weekend to cover all games.

Topics:  editors picks, nrl, referee, rugby league




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Commission raises minimum pay to $17.70 an hour

Workers on the minimum wage will get an extra $15.80 in their pay from July 1.

More in the pay packets of low paid workers after commission finding

School ‘waggers’ enjoy howling success

DOGGONE CUTE: These little dancers from Iluka Public School Kindergarten received second place for their puppy-themed dance at the Grafton Eisteddfod Schools Day.

Iluka kindergarten came second in Infant Creative Dance section.

Salvos say thanks

The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal - (L) Major Keith Cook, Major Lyn Cook and Adele Williams. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

The Salvation Army has thanked the Clarence Valley for generosity.

Latest deals and offers

Intrepic wins Grafton Guineas Prelude

Intrepic - ridden by Matt McGuren wins Race 3 at Grafton Races.

Leading Grafton jockey Matt McGuren rode Toby Edmunds trained Intrepic to a...

McKimm's Real Estate win Grafton Cup naming rights at Kensei Club dinner

GRINNERS: The McKimm's real estate table of (l-r) Liam Bland, Trent Dickson, Adam Crawley and jamie Cousemacker celebrate their horse coming in and McKimms winning naming rights to the 2016 Grafton Cup at the Kensei Club dinner on Saturday night.

Angus McKimm and his team at McKimm's Real Estate have won the official naming...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest