NRL: Ref audio message a ‘regular communication’ says Archer
By Quinn Jones, WWOS
5 hours ago
A message between the match officials in last week’s elimination final referees has left NRL supporters venting their frustration on social media. NRL referees boss Tony Archer has defended a “regular communication” between referees that triggered a groundswell of frustration amongst NRL fans after the controversial elimination final between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans last Friday.
The Titans looked to have found a way back into the match when Ryan James slid over late in the match at Suncorp Stadium. On the back foot for most of the night, the converted four-pointer put the underdog Titans within striking distance at 40-28 with just seven minutes to play. But it was an audio message between the whistle blowers immediately after the try that pricked the ears of some of the game’s more in-tune fans. “Only 12 points in this Badge,” one referee said as coverage flicked to the Broncos setting up their kick restart.
The message, presumably aimed at assistant referee Gavin Badger, shocked a number of fans with social media lighting up following the eventual 44-28 win to the home side. “After Ryan James scored “there is only 12 points in this Badge” … Match fixed!” one fan said on Facebook. “Woah after that call you have to wonder why 2 refs even care how many points are between the two teams,” another wrote. “Supposed to be impartial and adjudicate equally… this game has been an absolute joke.”
However, Archer said the communication was a natural part of the process between referees, allowing them to coordinate their positions during the final stages of a match. “This is a regular communication trigger when scores are close to ensure the officials’ positioning is correct,” Archer told the Wide World of Sports. "When there is a potential for a field goal, the assistant referee should position himself deeper so he does not get in the way of the attacking team. "It is also a reminder to the touch judges to be aware of players who might be offside. “The referee referenced the margin in order to remind all officials of the potential for a field goal.”