Former NRL coach Brian Smith says referees refuse to use the send-off in matches because it has wrecked the contest.
“The temperature of many rose remarkably when Dragons forward Tyson Frizzell was not dismissed [Frizzell knocked Canterbury prop Tim Browne out with a swinging arm] for contact with an opponent’s head. If a hit of that nature didn’t get Frizzell an early shower, what exactly does it take to get sent off?” Smith wrote in his theroar.com.au column.
“Because it’s been so long since anyone was sent off it has become rare in the extreme for that course of action to be taken by a referee, perhaps everyone whose temperature rose also had memory failure. The referees who did send players off in the past ‘ruined the game’.
“The reluctance to send players off has come about for a reason. Let the off-field process be the judge, except in the most absolute of circumstances.”