'Oh wait, it's Cam Smith' - Warriors fire social media barbs at Storm, NRL officials

The Warriors' social media team have fired some heavy shots at the Melbourne Storm and the standard of NRL officiating, after a controversial decision had a big say in yesterday's 12-6 loss at Mt Smart Stadium.

As Storm skipper Cameron Smith was cleared of a high tackle on wing Ken Maumalo, the Warriors' official Twitter account took aim at the former Queensland and Kangaroos rake's supposed ability to influence referees' decisions.

"High tackle" the Warriors tweeted, before replying to themselves with "Oh wait, it's Cam Smith."

Several decisions went against the Warriors in last night's defeat, leading to coach Stephen Kearney publicly criticising NRL officials.

"I think there is a problem," he said.

"Unfortunately they have been poorly led. They get a directive [from the NRL] at the start of the year to blow the pea out of the whistle and 13 rounds in that changes again."

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has also joined the chorus of anger against officials, following his side's defeat to the Cronulla Sharks this weekend.


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Knights coach proposes 'captain's challenge' to help quell refereeing issues in NRL

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has called on the NRL to implement the captain's challenge system as a way to quell the refereeing crisis.

NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton conceded his men got two crucial calls wrong which potentially robbed Canberra during their 28-24 loss to Cronulla on Friday night.

With refereeing issues already simmering, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart claimed fans were turning off the game because of the standard of officiating.

Rugby league greats Andrew Johns and Peter Sterling on Sunday accused the governing body of over-coaching the referees and sapping them of confidence.

Brown said the bunker was being over used and supported it being stripped back in favour of a captain's challenge.

The NRL trialled the system in Newcastle's loss to St George Illawarra two years ago and Brown said it reduced the reliance on the video referee.

"There was no chance of (either side) playing playoffs so the importance of the game was minimal," Brown told the Nine Network's Sunday Footy Show.

"But the video ref never came into the game at all.

"Our captain was saying 'we didn't want to challenge it because we thought it was a try'.

"The game flowed, it never stopped at all. There was no controversy."

Under the captain's challenge, each side is allowed one incorrect challenge to a try decision each half.

Sides can continue to challenge decisions if they are proven correct on each occasion.

Brown said he was disappointed that the NRL never followed up with him to ask his thoughts on the merits of the captain's challenge.

Stuart called for the bunker to be scrapped after the video referees overturned an on-field decision to award Cronulla's Sione Katoa a crucial 57th minute four- pointer.

The Raiders players stopped after touch judge Rick MacFarlane raised his flag after what appeared to be a Sharks knock-on.

Sutton also conceded a forward pass call, which denied the Raiders a try late in the match, was also incorrect.

Immortal Johns said there were too many people trying to tell referees how to do their job.

"I'm blaming the direction they're given and who's coaching the referees," Johns said.

"It's the constant chatter in their ear, touch judges - all game they're talking to them."

Parramatta legend Sterling said the referees were over thinking their job as a result of too many voices in their ears.

"It's paralysis by analysis our game at the moment," he said.

"We will send something upstairs for a particular concern in the lead-up but then we will look at eight other things."


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'They turn the momentum of the game' - Warriors coach Stephen Kearney slams NRL for current state of refereeing after loss

Stephen Kearney has become the latest coach to take aim at the NRL's handling of the current refereeing issue the competition is facing after this afternoon's 12-6 loss to the Storm.

Kearney insisted he wasn't blaming officials for today's result but admitted he was "stunned" by some of the calls made at Mount Smart Stadium.

"I think there is a problem [with the refereeing]," said Kearney. "Unfortunately they have been poorly led. They get a directive [from the NRL] at the start of the year to blow the pea out of the whistle and 13 rounds in that changes again."

"It's just about that consistency and I feel for them at the moment. There is enough smart people in our game to get it sorted, and we need to make sure we do something about it. It's a bit of a blight on our game at the minute."

Kearney isn't thinking about his future amid speculation of the club moving into new ownership.
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The Warriors coach's comments come after Raiders' coach Ricky Stuart had a post-match outburst about the current state of officiating in the NRL following his side's controversial loss to the Sharks.

"All this rot started at round one this year," Stuart said on Friday night.

"I don't know who came out and told the referees they had to come in and pick on everything ... start nitpicking on s****y pieces of play.

"This is why people are turning off rugby league. It's sad. I don't blame the referees, they've got a tough job, but too many voices around them are making it too hard for them."

The Raiders coach also attacked the NRL's bunker, accusing it of ruining momentum in play and making it harder for referees.

For Kearney, his biggest issue came midway through the second half when winger Ken Maumalo was whistled for an invisible knock on moments after Cameron Smith had hit him with a high tackle.

"Ken's one was a pretty obvious one," Kearney said.

"They are moments for them, and as Ricky alluded to the other day, they are game changers. They turn the momentum of the game."

Kearney also took aim at inconsistency in the late stages of the close match.

"We get penalised for leaving our line too early, a couple of minutes before the end of the game," he said.

"[Then] we head up and are on their try line and by the time we catch the ball they are in our face."


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