NRL Coaches: Please stop all the whining

THE final score may have been reasonably close, but Manly was convincingly beaten by the Rabbitohs on Friday night.

The loss almost certainly means the Sea Eagles will not finish in the top two, denying them a week off if they win their first finals match.

But while the score was close, the penalty count was not. That went against the Sea Eagles 10-5. And - surprise, surprise - beaten coach Geoff Toovey blew up deluxe in the post-match press conference.

Although Toovey played some of his career as a dummy half, he was a specialist halfback. And no current NRL coach spits the dummy better than those who played in the No.7 jersey.

The Manly coach perhaps holds pole position among the best whingers, but only by a nose from Ricky Stuart and Des Hasler.

All three are colourful, feisty characters - as they were when they played. Toovey and Stuart were more confrontational as players, but Hasler has grown another leg in that department since he started coaching.

And there is nothing wrong with a coach voicing his opinion in public, and exposing his passion. Often it can be insightful for fans and, let's face it, we need flamboyant characters in our game.

But please guys, stop the whining. And especially stop the moaning after a loss, as Toovey did on Friday night.

Few would disagree with his sentiments that the Sea Eagles copped some tough calls against the Rabbitohs. The worst was the no-try decision against Steve Matai, and even though the verdict was technically correct, commonsense said some part of the ball must have touched the goal line. Unfortunately since the infuriating video referee was introduced, commonsense is no longer a part of refereeing decisions.

Toovey also whinged about Jeff Lima twisting the leg of Anthony Watmough, which was an ugly incident. But the referees penalised Lima and placed him on report, so apart from sending him off I'm not sure what other action Toovey wanted. The gallows, maybe?

But his most damning accusations were that the officials decided the outcome of the game and that it had not been an even playing field. In anyone's language, that is akin to calling the referees cheats, an absurd claim which smacks of a sore loser.

According to official NRL match centre statistics, the Sea Eagles missed 21 tackles on Friday night and made 11 handling errors. So maybe Toovey should focus on those issues rather than calling for an investigation in to the performance of the match officials.

And apart from endorsing the opinion he is a gilt-edged moaner, his selfish post-match rant took the focus of what was a wonderful game of footy.