I don’t believe the referees cost us the game yesterday however you can’t deny that some terrible calls against us greatly influenced the result. Not once has JT blamed the referees for us losing a game, in fact I don’t think he’s ever said anything against them. I get what Taylor is doing with his press conferences. He is trying to create some accountability that the club has been lacking for years. However on some occasions I believe a smart and will directed spray against the officials is needed.
We don’t want to see him become another Ricky Stuart who blames them every time they lose, but it can be beneficial. I remember a few years back when Brian Smith was coaching the Roosters and they copped a hammering from the refs. At the press conference he went to town on them and I think even copped the $10k fine. Next week the Roosters played us and low and behold won their first penalty count (at Leichhardt mind you) in something like 8 weeks. I don’t think refs ever go out and purposely favour a side, however it has to be in the back of their minds that if they cane a certain side in penalties the back page headline will be them copping it from a coach. Same as if a coach never talks out about them, they know we’ll accept the 50/50s going against us without so much as a murmur.
The other point is that it makes the players feel like he is on their side. Like I said I can see what he is doing and he is right, we do need to be tougher. The guys need some tough love. However I also think the players would appreciate knowing their coach has their back and will speak up when absolute howlers go against them. Coaches have used the siege mentality to their advantage on many occasions. To me Taylor should have pointed out that all four penalties we got were for high tackles and we didn’t receive a single discretionary penalty over 80 minutes. He should have mentioned the second ball call as completely farcical. This wouldn’t be whining, it would be pointing out facts. I think the players would have appreciated it and maybe the referees would have taken note.