The recent swearing episode by Jonathan Thurston and subsequent acquittal by the judiciary – has swung the onus back on NRL referees to punish any abusive players.
Did Thurston deserve to get off? Or should he have been made an example of?
Watch footage of the incident below:
Comments by NRL Officials, including Chief Operating Officer Graham Annesley have put hothead players on notice and clubs would be crazy not to warn players off dissent in the coming weeks.
“There is nothing from the Thurston judiciary decision to suggest it’s alright to abuse a referee” Annesley confirmed.
With the successful appeal by Thurston, it almost a given that the next player to unleash at a referee will spend time in the sin-bin.
It was a little different in the Thurston case, because it was the final seconds of the game – binning him wasn’t an option.
Despite Thurston carrying on like a pork chop, referee Jason Robinson did extremely well and kept cool under pressure.
Robinson continues his rise through the referee ranks and remains one of the most respected whistle men amongst the players.
Players such as Paul Gallen who have had a history of run-in’s with referees would be well advised to keep a lid on it in the coming weeks.
The referees have a lot on their plate at the moment, with rule changes relating to corner posts and now clamping on dissent being forefront of their minds.