Rugby league reffing question (Leeds v Melbourne WCC)

Did anyone catch the Leeds v Melbourne game last night, RL World Club Championship? There’s been a lot of criticism of the referee here, and his allowing the Melbourne players to slow the game down by laying on in the tackle. I’m very much a casual fan of RL (I like it but I don’t really know the game beyond the basics), but I though the play seemed slow last night. Lots of time for Melbourne to set their defence with their guys laying on.

Is there a difference between International RL rules (last night) and the dometic rules of SL and NRL? The NRL is known for blistering speed, so presumably laying on in the tackle is not tolerated?

The conditions were poor last night, it should be said, so this may have played a part.

I didn’t see the game, and really have not seen many NRL games over the last few years. Slowing down the game is something that has been in focus according to the media, but a lot will always depend on what the referee allows. The players will always exploit it to the maximum.

What nationality was the ref? The games they referee give an indication of the latitude they allow.

No difference I’m aware of. The quality of RL refereeing (at least in the UK) is a joke and wildly inconsistent between referees.

It is in Australia as well.

That said, the Australian refs will usually get players off the man more quickly, but it’s a personal thing.

At an international level, the ref imposes his own interpretation. If the ref is a pom the Australians will complain about slow play-the-balls, big 10-metre requirements and the calling of penalties in dubious situations. If the ref’s Australian the poms will whinge about not being allowed to reset on the tackle, small 10-metre allowances and about borderline penalties being allowed to play on.

There was a while when they required a neutral referee for international games, then they didn’t and I have no idea where that requirement stands these days.

Melbourne teams of recent years have been notorious for their tactics at the tackle. They were the first NRL side to introduce serious wrestling training and the “grapple tackle”, the “chicken wing” and other tackles/wrestling moves designed to slow down the play the ball.

Their tactics have been very succesful in recent years and naturally have been emulated by other sides. I think that the introduction of two refs was in no small part to police these kind of tactics.