By Jeff Wall, Crikey’s rugby league
writer

It’s many months since I commented on the outrageous NRL rule that
coaches, players and officials face heavy fines if they dare bring into
question the competence of referees and other officials.

But today’s news that the Roosters coach Ricky Stuart and his club
face a fine of $10,000 for “bringing the game into disrepute,” following his
outburst after the Roosters narrow, and controversial, loss to the Sea Eagles
last Friday night, cannot go without comment.

The words that got Stuart into hot water are: “It’s happening too frequently to think its just 50-50 calls.”

The NRL CEO, David Gallop, said that “if you assert the referees are
biased you will be fined.” But that’s only one possible interpretation of what Stuart was
alleging (even if it is the likely one). I believe a case can be made that he
may have been alleging incompetence on the part of referees, rather than bias.

And even if he is alleging bias, does that demand a $10,000
fine?

The full story is on the site here.