Playing the blame game

This afternoon, in a performance many Parramatta fans will be disappointed with, the Melbourne Storm have defeated the Parramatta Eels at AAMI Park 46-10.

This score line is deceiving, because whilst the Melbourne Storm look to have run away with the game, the blow out in the score line really only came in the last 15 minutes. With 15 minutes left to go, the score line was 24-16 in favour of the Storm.

The next part of my post is going to be controversial, so I would like to preface it with a few comments first.

Firstly, I did not watch the game on television – I heard it on radio. I always find listening on radio very difficult because I don’t get a complete picture of the game in my mind. Also, how I felt about the game was largely the result of the commentators and the details they decided to include and of course, not include in their telecast.

Secondly, in 99 per cent of cases, I am firmly of the view that no one player can be blamed when a team loses. It is both a team effort to win and a team effort to lose.

Thirdly, I have been very impressed with Chris Sandow this year. He has been one of our stand out players and his infectious attitude in many games this year has been the difference for Parramatta.

With all this in mind, this afternoon I am feeling a lot of frustration toward Chris Sandow and I would almost go as far as saying that he cost us the game this afternoon. Parramatta were their own worst enemy for most of that game with silly penalties, poor ball control and lazy defence. However there was one moment which put the game out of reach for the team. 

With 15 minutes to go, Sandow made a comment to the referee to the effect of  “how much are you getting paid for this game”. We all know what happens when you question the integrity of the referee’s – 10 minutes in the sin bin. That’s exactly what happened and in the time when Chris was off the field, the Storm scored 3 tries adding an extra 18 points to their tally and putting the game well out of Parramatta’s reach.

This moment, amongst others during the game, was a game changer.

The reason I am frustrated is because I feel like a brain explosion on the part of Chris Sandow ultimately cost Parramatta the game. Sandow has been one of our game changers this year. To be a man down to a side which has as much quality in it as the Storm and that man being your key play maker will put any side on the back foot.

In the end, questioning the integrity of the referee’s was an incredibly selfish decision. It was a decision which had little regard for his teammates and a decision which he knew would land him in the bin. The rules are clear and Chris completely disregarded them and acted foolishly anyway.

There has been much frustration throughout this year about the standard of refereeing, but generally I feel that it always evens out in the end. Parramatta have had some extremely favourable calls this year and some extremely unfavourable ones – that’s football.

While this is of course frustrating, players need to be in control of their emotions and understand that their actions have consequences. In the case of the Eels this afternoon, it cost them 18 points and perhaps even a position in the top 4.


Ladies who League