Simmons war warning over referees’ slow play clampdown

Royce Simmons
Royce Simmons

NEW Saints coach Royce Simmons has warned that Super League XVI could a war of attrition if the Rugby Football League orders referees to clamp down on slow play-the-balls.

Simmons, who has succeeded Mick Potter at Saints, hit out at the game’s governing body after referee Steve Ganson awarded 34 penalties during last night’s pre-season friendly against Huddersfield - most of them for “lying on”.

Simmons, whose side lost 36-12 in their last run-out before the opening game against Wigan in Cardiff on Saturday week, says he will tell his team to “play up the middle” if referees insist on speeding up the ruck.

“That’s how the league want to play it this year by quickening it up and Steve Ganson was only refereeing to the rules that have been set in the league,” he said.

“But if they don’t change, then I’m going to find the biggest bunch of monsters I can and play up the park. I want to play entertaining footy but, with quick play-the-balls like that, that’s what you’ll get.”