Gus wants heads to roll.
Gus wants heads to roll.

‘Should be sacked’: Gus explodes at NRL

RUGBY league guru Phil Gould has called for the video referee at the centre of the Tom Trbojevic sin-bin scandal to be sacked.

The NRL insisted their referees got it right in sin-binning Trbojevic late in Manly's controversial semi-final loss to South Sydney on Friday night, but Gus says they haven't got a clue.

Trbojevic was binned by referee Gerard Sutton with 13 minutes left on the clock at ANZ Stadium and Manly leading the do-or-die clash 26-20.

The Rabbitohs scored two tries in his absence as they claimed the 34-26 win, setting up a date with Canberra and ending the Sea Eagles' season.

Manly coach Des Hasler fumed after the match and claimed his team had been "dudded", certain Trbojevic should not have been binned for holding back Dane Gagai as Souths broke down field.

But the NRL's head of football, Graham Annesley, strongly rebuked the suggestion after he and Hasler also spoke following the match.

"It was a professional foul in a try-scoring situation," Annesley said. "Last week I publicly criticised a referee for not using the sin bin in similar circumstances.

"If Jake doesn't grab the support player, the consequences don't occur."

Gould, however, torched the decision and the NRL's entire referee department over the Trbojevic decision and the earlier decision to sin-bin Cody Walker for a slap.

"I'm so frustrated with it and I'm sick of doing it," he said on Macquarie Sports Radio of having to criticise the referees yet again.

"For me the referees and the refereeing process and the rubbish that they go on with is counterproductive to the viewing experience. Their hyperactive, their excessive, they frustrate the players, they frustrate the fans."

Phil Gould is never short of a word.
Phil Gould is never short of a word.

He said Trbojevic should not have even been penalised for the grab on Gagai because he did everything he could to get around him while Gagai blocked his path.

He said it was fine for the on-field referees to send the decision to the bunker - but he was seething about the video referee's verdict.

"Now even out the corner of his eye, the referee sees the Souths player fall to the ground and a Manly player in the vicinity. All right, I'll just get that checked," Gould said.

"So whoever reviewed that in the bunker should be sacked. It's just not a penalty and it is not a sin bin."

He also said the sin-binning of Walker  was "absolutely ridiculous".

"The Cody Walker sin bin in a semi-final for the actions that took place at that time I found totally unnecessary," he said.

"Absolutely ridiculous, but it's kind of like one of those gotcha moments the referees have these days where they're like the policeman behind the tree with a speed gun. I don't think it was a sin bin in any era."

Just last week, the NRL axed referee Ashley Klein for failing to sin-bin Canberra's Elliott Whitehead as the Storm broke down field in the Raiders' eventual win.

Hasler also claimed Annesley had told him the solution was not for his player to be give away the penalty in the future.

But Hasler insisted there was a clear difference between the need to penalise and sin-bin, with the offence committed 30m away from the tryline.

"Do I think we were dudded? Yep, I think we were dudded," he said. "The call on Jake in the second half was a bit tough.

"Was it a penalty? I don't mind a penalty. I can handle a penalty. Did he deserve to get sent off? No, I didn't think he deserved to get sent off.

"You don't want to see the game coming down to crucial calls like that."

- with AAP

News Corp Australia


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