Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan is the latest to fire up at the NRL bunker after his side was on the wrong side of two controversial calls in a 34-26 win over the Wests Tigers.
One week after Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson took aim at the central command centre in the Sydney suburb of Eveleigh, Flanagan declared the wrong decisions weren’t decreasing – they’re just getting to them faster.
“The bunker hasn’t made better decisions. It’s just made the rulings come a bit faster,” he said on Saturday.
“It’s sped the game up a little bit, but it’s still not making the right decisions.
“It could’ve been costly for us … We’ve got a tool to use in the bunker, and they come up with two dud calls today.”
Twice in the space of four minutes the Sharks copped contentious decoy calls in Campbelltown, with both involving returning skipper Paul Gallen.
First Sharks centre Ricky Leutele was denied a try after Gallen was judged to have impeded Kevin Naiqama from tackling Chris Heighington in the lead-up.
Then at the other end of the ground, Gallen gave up on a play after running into decoy Chris Lawrence, allowing James Tedesco to stroll through almost untouched and the try was awarded.
“The difference was at the other end I didn’t fall over. I probably should’ve fallen over,” Gallen said.
Coach Jason Taylor all but conceded his side were lucky in the second instance.
“The onus is on the attacking team. We talk to our players all the time – don’t stop him on the outside shoulder, because it’s a penalty,” he said.
“If we did it tonight, it’s a mistake. But I haven’t seen it.”
The two decisions are certain to re-open debate on the supposedly black-and-white obstruction rule, however Taylor said it would be wrong for referees to be given latitude in those instances.
“They’ve made it clear: you know as a lead runner you can’t stop the guy who’s coming across in defence. You can’t hit him on the outside shoulder,” he said.
“Whether that player was going to be involved in the play or not, I don’t think it matters, because when we start making judgment calls on it, we’re getting it wrong.”