There’s been a lot of public criticism of Super League referees recently – and I think it’s time for the sport to revisit the Respect campaign.
Manchester Refs
We’ve always been a sport that prides itself on our treatment of officials, but perhaps that stance needs to be highlighted again.

That starts in the amateur game and runs right through – it’s a game-wide issue that needs tackling.

When you’re in the professional game, you need to understand that you are role models for people all the way down to the grass roots. If you criticise and blame referees for decisions and defeats, that filters all the way down.

I help to coach an under-11s team and I see it myself – people are eager to blame the referee as soon as things don’t go their way.

That puts a lot of pressure on young kids refereeing those games and it’s not good to see — we have to get a grip of it now and stamp it out of the game.

Peacock says there’s no overnight quick fix but revisiting the Respect campaign may help. We need more referees in the game, and criticising them all the time isn’t going to help that.

The Respect campaign was fantastic and should be emphasised and focused on again, because without referees there is no game.

People should worry about what they can control on the playing side of things and not the officials.

Former Super League referee Steve Ganson is in charge of the department now and I definitely think he’s the right man for the job.

He has great experience of refereeing at this level, and an enthusiasm and desire to succeed in his role. But it won’t be an overnight, quick fix, and it’s an area that perhaps needs some more investment into it as well.

As with anything it can take time to change – you can’t just improve any system overnight.
Recently we’ve seen Chris Campbell break through to referee Super League as a former professional player. That’s something I think the RFL could look at – trying to actively engage with former players and make refereeing an attractive profession to pursue.

The best referees are usually the ones that have played at some level because they have a good feel for what the game is like, and it would be great to see more coming through.

State of Mind 100% agree with Jamie’s comments

Jamie Peacock was speaking on behalf of First Utility, official sponsor of the Super League.