7 hours ago
Leading referee Bill Harrigan has been dropped for this weekends round of NRL matches following his diabolical performance with the whistle in last Friday night's clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Parramatta Eels where he sent four Parramatta players to the sin bin, with Parramatta centre Michael Buettner, given his marching orders twice in the second half of their courageous 24-18 loss to the premiers.
The result would no doubt bring a smile to the face of all the Parramatta fans but most of all to Brian Smith and his players, who were clearly robbed of two points after Newcastle finally scored the winning try while Parramatta only played with ten men.
Referees boss Peter Louis, had this to say about Harrigan's performance last Friday night: "We made it clear after the match that there will be times where a referee should take strong action and be supported," Mr Louis said.
"In examining tapes today there are certainly issues within the match that required such action but there is also a clear view that towards the end of the game there were some options taken that could have been handled differently.
"Although Bill remains the leading referee in the game, he like any other referee must have his performances assessed and be answerable for his decisions.
"It gives no pleasure whatsoever for us to reach this decision but I have informed Bill that as a direct result of Friday night, he will not be refereeing next weekend.
"I retain my confidence in Bill and in the rest of the refereeing squad."
It remains to be seen how long Harrigan will sit on the sidelines for but if the NRL and true to their word, an enforced sacking of more than one week needs to be applied to show the fans of our great game that last Friday night's debacle is never seen again.