Johns and Sterling place blame for refereeing crisis on NRL

“I’m blaming the direction they’re given and who’s coaching the referees,” Johns told the Nine Network’s Sunday Footy Show.

“It’s the constant chatter in their ear, touch judges – all game they’re talking to them.

“During breaks of play, you’ve got the coach up in the box constantly talking to them about balance and about how they’re refereeing, who’s offside.

“Unfortunately for the referees, they have no feel for the game at the moment because of the directions they’re given. They’ve lost all confidence.”

Johns called for a simplification of the refereeing system and questioned whether the bunker should be scrapped.


“The solution is, trial it one weekend, we have in-goal touch judges, we have no bunker, just let the referees have a feel for the game,” Johns said.

“We should get (former referee’s boss) Bill Harrigan back involved, to run the referees – the best referee I’ve ever seen, he has a feel for the game, he would put the responsibility back on the referees.”

Stuart called for the bunker to be scrapped after the video referees overturned an on-field decision to award Cronulla’s Sione Katao 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.

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; we’ll look at the play-the-ball, we’ll look at a knock-on here, possible knock-on here, but we have go back and have a look at every bit of play.”


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