Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has expressed his frustrations over the NRL officiating after a staggering 23 penalties were blown in Monday night’s loss to the Gold Coast.
The night was a costly one for the Bulldogs, whose top-four prospects were all but ended by the 26-16 defeat, while likely losing front-rower Sam Kasiano for several weeks with a knee injury. But the refereeing became a talking point, after the officials found infringements at better than a penalty every four minutes.
“Go and ask Daniel Anderson,” Hasler said. “I don’t know. I can’t get a read on it. I think last week, we were 12 penalties against us, the week before that we only had six. Go and ask the people in charge. I can’t get a read on it.”
His counterpart, Gold Coast’s John Cartwright, said the ruck interpretations made officiating a “lottery”.
“I hate seeing a game with that many penalties,” Cartwright said. “No-one wins. Too many stoppages for the players, too many stoppages for the fans, your key playmakers don’t get any advantage from it when there’s that many penalties, because it’s so slow. The continuity of the game is affected.
“The way the game is refereed now, you can state a case for a penalty at every ruck, and I’ve got not doubt that they will state a case for every penalty that was given. But it’s a fine line. Some referees will let the game flow, and if the game does flow, the odd slow play-the-ball doesn’t really matter.
“But if it’s constantly penalised at the ruck, the game does become a bit of a lottery.”
Titans co-captain Nate Myles said he had been frustrated by the stoppages.
“Some of them were definite penalties, and some weren’t,” he said. “Sometimes, you think they do it to even things up, so they just blow it. I’m not sure what to say, but it gets a bit frustrating.”
Hasler, though, did add that the officials did not cost the Bulldogs the contest.
“We didn’t help our own cause, and we certainly helped theirs,” he said. “There were a number of times where we had the game and were unable to go on with it. We were really sloppy in a lot of areas.
“It was our opportunity to get away from that congestion (in the top eight). We’ve got a tough fortnight ahead of us now.”
The Titans have now snuck into the top eight as a result of their win, while the Bulldogs’ chances of making the top four are all but over. “It was a game played like there was a lot on the line,” Cartwright said.
“It was just really pleasing from our angle. We haven’t won a game like that for a while.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel now. We’ve worked our way back into the eight, and we certainly want to stay there.”
Kasiano, meanwhile, will have scans on Tuesday, but the Bulldogs were already resigned to losing the front-rower at least for their match against Canberra on Saturday. “I think it’ll be a number of weeks,” Hasler said.
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