Monday Buzz: Cruel trolls go after Jake Arthur, Matt Lodge slammed for lying down to win penalty

The NRL has axed the bunker video referee who cost the Raiders victory after a ‘high shot’ on Matt Lodge, writes PHIL ROTHFIELD.

The NRL has sacked the bunker video referee who cost the Canberra Raiders victory over the Warriors last weekend.

In the dying stages, Steve Chiddy ruled Canberra forward Corey Horsburgh had to be put on report and penalised for high contact on Warriors prop Matt Lodge.

Subsequent replays showed it was complete overreaction and that Lodge had taken a dive.

The penalty allowed the Warriors to equalise and later win the game in golden point.

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The 'high shot' on Matt Lodge which saw Corey Horsburgh penalised. Picture: Fox League.
The 'high shot' on Matt Lodge which saw Corey Horsburgh penalised. Picture: Fox League.
The Bunker ref has been sacked after Lodge milked the incident. Picture: Fox League.
The Bunker ref has been sacked after Lodge milked the incident. Picture: Fox League.

LODGE REVERTS TO NRL’S MOST DESPISED PLAYER

Matt Lodge has worked hard to restore his reputation in the NRL.

On Saturday he again became the most despised player in the competition.

In my opinion he took a dive to get a penalty that allowed the Warriors to level the scores in the dying moments against the Canberra Raiders before they won in golden point.

The tackle by Raiders forward Corey Horsburgh wouldn’t have knocked your columnist over.

It angered front-row legend Steve Blocker Roach who said: “It was ordinary. I hate blokes lying down. It’s an unwritten law. Even if a coach told me to do it, I wouldn’t.”

Lodge was lucky to be on the field in the first place, saved only by the bumbling bunker.

He should have been sin-binned or sent off for lifting his forearm and striking an opponent in the face earlier in the game.

CRUEL TROLLS TAKE AIM AT ARTHUR ‘NEPOTISM’

Brad Arthur had more to worry about than Parramatta’s poor performance against the Cowboys in Darwin.

Cruel claims of nepotism around the selection of his teenage son Jake were the hottest topic on social media on the weekend as the Eels crashed to a 35-4 loss to the Cowboys.

There were some shocking comments from the keyboard warriors like: “As long as daddy keeps playing his useless son Parramatta will never be successful,” and “can we get a petition going to get rid of Jake Arthur?”

It got to a stage where the Eels even used their own Twitter account to appeal to fans to back off.

“Guys. Give some confidence. Doesn’t always have to be neg!,” read the first, followed by: “The Arthur joke is enough. It’s not funny.”

Jake Arthur copped cruel criticism on Twitter.
Jake Arthur copped cruel criticism on Twitter.

The Eels later deleted the tweets.

However the club’s executive producer Kate Cardwell didn’t hold back.

“Sick of the shit comments,” she wrote, “It is football.”

To another critic Cardwell replied: “Sick of the bullying and negativity. I don’t think you know how much your words hurt.”

It didn’t help that the 19-year-old five-eighth had a quiet match and didn’t make one run metre.

Although CEO Jim Sarantinos wasn’t having a bar of it.

“Our fans are passionate and we understand the disappointment that comes after a loss,” he said, “However, it is completely unacceptable when comments become abusive and highly personal.”

To blame the youngster for the loss is out of order in a team that had 17 players that underperformed.

League Immortal Andrew Johns, who coached Arthur while he was an assistant at Parramatta, has gone in to support the youngster.

Andrew Johns (front) coached Jake Arthur (back left) while he was an assistant at Parramatta. Picture: Toby Zerna
Andrew Johns (front) coached Jake Arthur (back left) while he was an assistant at Parramatta. Picture: Toby Zerna

“The kid is still learning his trade,” Johns told me on Sunday, “The biggest lessons you learn are on the field.

“He’ll come back. In all my time playing and coaching, he’s right up there with any young player for his attitude, work ethic and effort. He can play too, don’t worry about that. He’s still a baby.

“The best thing is that he tries to create things and doesn’t play like a robot. He’s a really good kid.”

At this stage of his career Jake is a borderline first grader but has plenty of potential.

He has been playing in the number six jersey because of an injury crisis out wide that has forced Brad Arthur to temporarily move his gun five-eighth Dylan Brown to the centres.

There were few complaints from Parramatta fans when young Arthur performed solidly in the team’s 39-2 win over the Newcastle Knights the previous week.

Still father-son relationships in rugby league can sometimes be difficult.

Jake Arthur has come under fire. Picture: NRL Photos
Jake Arthur has come under fire. Picture: NRL Photos
Jake Arthur during warm-up (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Jake Arthur during warm-up (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

I remember Bob Fulton, even in the pre social media days, used to be criticised over the way he used his sons Brett and Scott at various stages of their careers despite the fact they always held their own.

Kevin Walters is in a similar position at the Broncos where his son Billy is a fine player but never an automatic selection in the starting 17.

It was never an issue for premiership-winning coach Johnny Lang because his son Martin, a Queensland Origin player, ran the football as fearlessly as any player I’ve seen.

The same with Ivan Cleary at Penrith with his superstar son Nathan Cleary, arguably the best player in the competition.

Jake Arthur is off contract at the Eels at the end of next season.

His future and his negotiations will be handled by general manager of football Mark O’Neill and chief executive Jim Sarantinos.

There won’t be a rush from other clubs for his signature.

But rest assured, he has the potential to be a good footballer and deserves better than what the trolls were dishing out on Saturday night.

Luke Keary and the Roosters are struggling for form (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Luke Keary and the Roosters are struggling for form (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

SWITCH ROOSTERS MUST MAKE TO IGNITE SEASON

Luke Keary won three premierships and a Clive Churchill Medal as a five-eighth.

Sam Walker won the Dally M rookie of the year as a halfback last season, playing magnificently in an injury-ravaged team.

Surely it’s time for the Roosters to put Walker back to halfback and Keary to five-eighth.

It will be an interesting conversation between halves coach Cooper Cronk and Trent Robinson after another poor performance against the Bulldogs.

For all those wanting to write off the Roosters, there is a remarkable statistic showing that their current position is identical to 2018 when they won the comp.

That year they won four of their first eight games and had a differential of plus 18 – exactly the same as this year.

Originally published as Monday Buzz: Cruel trolls go after Jake Arthur, Matt Lodge slammed for lying down to win penalty

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