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Well my first match to comment upon St Helens v Salford a predictable result but a couple of refereeing areas to comment.
All my comments tonight relate to the tackle area.
I watched the game as a complete neutral but on three seperate occasions were players who were getting up to play the ball miraciously had great difficulty getting to their feet to play the ball. The referee Richard Silverwood was clearly heard on the refs "Mike" heard to shout 'you were diving', this clearly is an attempt on the part of the player in possession to con the referee into giving a penalty and causes great frustration amongst the crowd, his supporters demanding a penalty and opposing supporters calling it cheating.
Surely if the referee is so certain that it is diving by actually calling outthat it is diving should penalise the offending player for ungentlemanly behaviour trying to mislead the referee. It woudl quicky eradicate an increasing problem in our game.
I think in football the ladies game its called "Simulation", I think the day we want diving in our game it's time to give up. Come on officials if you are that sure its a dive, then do the honourable thing penalise the offender and for persistent offenders its yellow card time.
And as an extra for this weeks column,the referee who is stood two metres away from the tackled player at the subdued Langtree Stadium calls "held" at an upright tackle. The player then passes the ball, previously a penalty. The rule changed to allow for circumstances where the tackled player doesnt hear the call !!!
What happens when the referee calls held and a defender holds on, the same outcome isnt available the referee either lets it go or gives a penalty?
We cannot have two rules for the same circumstances, handing the ball back does make us look like a bunch of softies, whatever was wrong with the rule as it stood. Believe me this will be one of the silliest interpretations of the season and wont last, 'Oh I am sorry I shouldn't have passed could I have the ball back please'.
These referees can provide such entertainment !!