Reds head coach Brad Thorn joined the chorus of criticism levelled at officials this year.
It resulted in a momentum change with the Blues going from 8-6 ahead to eventually securing a 21-6 lead at the break. The Blues eventually went on to win the match 39-16.
The home side also had to players yellow-carded by referee Egon Seconds in the second half.
Thorn believes the impact of refereeing decisions during games is concerning.
“The game is in an interesting place isn’t it,” said Thorn. “I don’t know if that’s enjoyable for anyone.
“Everyone is talking about that at the moment, both sides of the Tasman. It’s interesting.”
He added: “Probably the No.1 thing, like for a lot of fans, coaches and players everywhere, it’s hurting the game. The game is getting hurt,” he said.
“If that’s what rugby is where you slow things down …. a lifting tackle where he didn’t drive him into the ground. And Taniela came up, his hands from what I saw were in front of him, and he went in hard and low … if you want to penalise, but then yellow card as well?
“There’s a lot of things in rugby that are interesting. Even the knock-down rules, it’s often a yellow card. In league you just get on with it. Bad pass, pack a scrum, get on with it.
“It’s an interesting place that the game is in. If that’s where we want to go … for me it’s hard. I was a physical player, I enjoyed hitting rucks hard, and played my league in the ’90s.
“As a 12-year-old I remember my coach pulling me aside at half-time, ‘when you pick a guy up drive him into the dirt’. I’m not saying we do that, but for me it’s an interesting place. Referees are trying their best.”
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