Hinds: It’s Storm, rock, scissors

Written By Unknown on Senin, 21 April 2014 | 23.40

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MEMO Warriors. Don't bother turning up at AAMI Park to play the Storm on Friday. If you do, expect to leave with your gruntle well and truly dissed.

Melbourne is the big ticketholder in this season's Ref-lotto. This is how their lucky numbers have come out.

Round 4: Lose 26-28 to a last minute Gold Coast penalty after the referee ruled the ball had been stripped from the Titans' Luke Douglas, when a shortsighted wombat in an obstructed viewing seat in Helsinki could see Douglas dropped it cold.

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Round 5: Beat St George-Illawarra 28-24 with a try scored from a play the ball after time had elapsed, proving the old adage that the team that plays for the full 80 minutes and six-tenths of a second will prevail.

Round 6: Lose 22-24 to a last minute Canberra try after a clear-cut potentially game-winning Storm try in the 70th minute was disallowed because ... ummm, the referee went rock and the video referee went scissors?

See the pattern Warriors? Whether it's a routine blunder or a touch judge accidentally tripping a rampaging winger as he dashes for the line, destiny is against you in Melbourne. The game demands it.

Cameron Smith disputes a no try decision with referee Gerard Sutton. Source: Getty Images

That the Storm remain both victim AND beneficiary of a series of officiating cock-ups that have blighted this season remains the NRL's tissue thin line of defence against accusations of, at best, serial incompetency and at worst utter buffoonery.

Think of it like this. The NRL refereeing is now like a sort of mid-career U2 with some fairly ordinary work usually followed by something more to your liking. If you're on the receiving end of a "Rattle and Hum'' decision one day week, you could soon be the beneficiary of an "Achtung Baby.''

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Last year Manly coach Geoff Toovey made his amusingly shrill call for an investigation into the refereeing at Brookvale. On Friday night you didn't hear any Sea Eagles calling for CSI Moore Park to pick apart the decision that cost North Queensland victory.

Yin and yang. The referees giveth, the referees taketh away. Are you buying it?

Me neither. And don't get the coaches started.

Craig Bellamy starts a game apoplectic then gets worked up.

That Bellamy's head didn't explode when the "no try'' message went up at Canberra Stadium on Sunday was the only thing more surprising than the decision.

Modern coaching — for better or worse — is the art of reducing uncertainty. Of leaving a team less exposed to human foibles and fallibility.

Cameron Smith ask's referee Gerard Sutton why no try was ruled. Source: News Corp Australia

You can defend refereeing mistakes on the grounds that players make them too.

But, in the current context, only if players were completing one set in 25, converting goal attempts at two per cent and attempting to catch high balls on their noses.

Referees, we know, are also only as good as the rules they enforce.

But what happens when they contradict themselves so often no one can remember what the rules are?

If in one game you can't obstruct with a stray toenail and in another you can build a brick wall?

There has been talk of the NRL establishing a central video refereeing "bunker'' staffed by the best analysts to which all decisions would be referred.

Cue the memes of the 'Last Days of the Third Reich' with an agitated video refereeing Fuhrer in his bunker raging about the incompetence of his generals: "Check the grounding? Check the GROUNDING!!!! Why do these traitorous fools disappoint me so?''

Cameron Smith ask's referee Gerard Sutton why a no try decision was ruled. Source: News Corp Australia

Unfortunately the refereeing fiasco obscured a weekend when the NRL found the defibrillators and gave a flatlining season a much needed jolt.

The pulsating Bulldogs-Souths game — marred, naturally, by its own obstruction controversy — had both the big crowd and the electricity we'd missed.

The only thing we should have been complaining about was that the flat-Earthers at Nine would not let us watch the Canberra-Melbourne game live.

Instead we hung around like racetrack ghouls to see for ourselves if the refereeing blunder was as bad as the social media flap suggested.

It was. Which might provide another unlikely source of consolation for the NRL.

Even on delay the refereeing is so routinely awful you can't keep your eyes off it.

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