Sport NRL unites to hit back at critics

12:56  16 april  2018
12:56  16 april  2018 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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Todd Greenberg and Cameron Smith.: NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg (l) and Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith have united on social media to talk up rugby league. (AAP)© AAP NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg (l) and Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith have united on social media to talk up rugby league. (AAP)

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has taken to social media to fire back at his critics over the state of the game this season after starting up a social media campaign to talk up rugby league.

Using the hashtag ‘Talk the Game Up’, Greenberg has already been backed by Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith while other existing and former NRL players have also shown support.

“We will always be debating the performances of clubs, players, administrators, referees, rules, etc but if you love rugby league then talk it up and share your positivity,” Greenberg tweeted.

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“Ignore the crisis merchants and support your club and the game! #NRLTalkTheGameUp”

https://twitter.com/Todd_Greenberg/status/985322314324590592

Smith was quick to tweet his support for the under-siege NRL boss, claiming the game had never been in better shape as far as his career was concerned.

“Agree,” Smith tweeted.

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"I didn't think coaches and players were allowed to criticise referees in press conferences, and that sounds like criticism to me. Stream every NRL game, including finals, live and data free with a 2016 Footy Pass, exclusive to Telstra mobile.

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“There will always be room for improvement, but rugby league is in its best position since I started playing…plenty to be positive about!

“If we are going to continue to grow as a game constructive feedback from everyone is important. #NRLTalkTheGameUp”

Referee Matt Cecchin blows a penalty during the 2018 season. (Getty)

Parramatta captain Tim Mannah added: “Greatest game of all. #NRLTalkTheGameUp”

Former Brisbane captain Corey Parker also chimed in with: “Watching the NRL get smashed by constant negativity is tiring and not constructive.

“Get around it!”

The Rugby League Players’ Association also backed the initiative.

https://twitter.com/camsmith9/status/985437682141507584

“Good to see @Todd Greenberg promoting the game and tackling the issues today,” RLPA chief executive Ian Prendergast said.

“We certainly don’t agree on everything.

“But his pragmatic approach allowed @RLPlayers and @NRL to resolve over 300 issues last year. Commitment to partnership will ensure this continues. #NRLTalkTheGameUp”

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It has been a tough season for the NRL, with the early rounds overshadowed by criticisms of inflated penalty counts after Greenberg ordered the referees to crack down on the play-the-ball and the 10-metre rule.

https://twitter.com/tim_mannah/status/985476933709254656

The issue came to a head in round four, when referee Ben Cummins blew the pea out of the whistle 33 times in the match between Cronulla and Melbourne.

Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns was scathing of the penalty count and claimed it had ruined the spectacle between two of the NRL’s fiercest rivals.

“Firstly I don’t blame the referees,” Johns said.

“I’m blaming whoever’s telling them to do this.

https://twitter.com/Coreyjparker13/status/985363628634259457

“In the off season there was an edict they’re going to crack down on the play the ball with your foot which I think was ok, and the 10 metres, but it’s the nit-picking in other areas.

“Every ruck if you want you could award a penalty for different things.

“I went home as a fan after watching the Bulldogs-Rabbitohs game, sit back and enjoy the game, and it was destroyed by the referee.

“I was so disappointed, it just took away from the spectacle of two of our great teams, who have had a rivalry for the last five or six years.

https://twitter.com/IanPrendergast/status/985380840262713350

“I couldn’t wait and then, will it change the way teams are coached? Will it change the way players play?

“I don’t think so, I don’t think it will.”

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