Test and Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith has called for the NRL to revert to the one-referee system following an emotion-charged win over Manly.
Halfback Cooper Cronk steered the Storm to victory in the last nine minutes, scoring a brilliant solo try and setting up another for debutant Kurt Mann.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy didn’t front the post-match media conference at AAMI Park, sending assistant Justin Morgan and Smith.
Morgan said Bellamy was too “cut up” to attend and that the entire club was upset with the inconsistencies in the refereeing.
Morgan, the NRL video referee coach last season, singled out Manly’s first half try by Peta Hiku that was initially denied by referee Shayne Hayne before being overturned upon video review.
The decision saw a furious Bellamy storm out of the coach’s box to try to cool off.
“We tend to have a lot of decisions that have question marks against them,” Morgan said.
“The work and preparation that goes into a game is phenomenal and sometimes to see the inconsistencies not only from match to match but from referee to referee sometimes it is really hard to swallow.
“When you’ve got different people making different decisions, different interpretations, different levels of experience as well. There are a lot of grey areas.”
Smith said players were frustrated by the inconsistency between the two referees in the current NRL model.
He said the answer was to go back to one-referee system, as was used in last week’s Anzac Test, with Hayne officiating.
He (Hayne) did a great job and I don’t think we had any issue with the refereeing because it was the one guy,” Smith said.
“He knows how he wants to referee the game and he views it the same for both teams.
“I found that Test match really enjoyable just going back to one referee, which is an international rule, and I felt the game just flowed so much better.”
The Storm next face Souths in Sydney on Friday night.