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Harrigan splits blame over NRL swearing
Steve Jancetic
18:45 AEST Tue May 29 2012

NRL referees boss Bill Harrigan admits whistleblower Jason Robinson has to take some of the responsibility for allowing Michael Ennis' expletive-riddled rant to be broadcast.

Canterbury skipper Ennis dropped the 'f-bomb' a number of times as he expressed his displeasure at a no-try decision against Sam Kasiano during the first half of Monday night's clash against Sydney Roosters.

While Harrigan was in no way condoning Ennis' language, he did say Robinson could have done more to defuse the situation.

"(Robinson) did have a responsibility there to mention to Ennis when he swore that he (the referee) had a microphone on," Harrigan told AAP.

"That is our responsibility - it's not a good look to have language broadcast off the field.

"... you quickly put your hand up to where the microphone is to cover it and you say to him `I've got a microphone on.'

"Sometimes they forget that you're wired.

"That would have been enough to hopefully hold back on the swearing.

"He was using (the swearing) as a part of emphasis on his sentences rather than directing it as abuse."

Match review committee chairman Greg McCullum said because Ennis never abused Robinson, he was in no danger of attracting a contrary conduct charge.

Robinson - who also had a heated discussion with Roosters skipper Braith Anasta after a Bulldogs try to Krisnan Inu - did not file a complaint over the Ennis incident after the game.

Referees have come in for some heavy questioning in recent days, with Ennis and Anasta's outburst coming on the back of repeated approaches to the whistleblowers from NSW skipper Paul Gallen in last week's opening State of Origin match.

"I do believe that we have to be a little more firmer when it comes to captains coming up and questioning us," Harrigan said.

Harrigan also backed the decision to not award Kasiano the try, claiming teammate Frank Pritchard had come from an offside position to impede defenders.


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