Brown in war of words with Wane after lambasting ref's performance

Brown in war of words with Wane after lambasting ref's performance

Brown in war of words with Wane after lambasting ref's performance

First published in Sport

SAINTS boss Nathan Brown found himself embroiled in a war of words with his Wigan counterpart Shaun Wane after the win at DW Stadium.

Brown blasted the performance of referee Phil Bentham after seeing his side on the wrong end of an 11-5 penalty count.

And he accused Wane of putting pressure on the Rugby Football League's referees boss Jon Sharp and his match officials in the build-up to the game.

"I thought the officiating of the game was horrible," Brown said. "I thought Phil Bentham had an absolutely shocking performance.

"Waney has been whinging for the last two months and then we cop it on the backside today.

"We never ring Jon Sharp, we don't complain after any game and then you get a performance like that because other coaches are putting the referees under pressure.

"He's a good referee, Phil, and I'm not saying the 14 or 15 penalties that we got against us didn't deserve to be penalties but I can assure you I'll be able to find another thousand you could have penalised Wigan for.

"I find it sad. We never complain but, as is the case in the NRL, the more you whinge, the better you get the calls."

Those comments were relayed back to the Wigan boss in the press conference and he responded: "That's absolute garbage, that's all I want to say about that.

"Nathan Brown shouldn't be allowed to say stuff like that.

"He came out with a comment at the start of the year about head-hunters and he got away with that. It's just disgraceful that he comes out with stuff like that. I'm fuming about that to be honest."

The comments from Brown, as well as the victory, will be welcomed by the Saints fans who have been crying out for the head coach to visibly show the same passion as the Wigan boss.

It was a great night of rugby, with a win achieved despite the loss of playmaker Luke Walsh with a back injury.

Tommy Makinson touched down twice and veteran skipper Paul Wellens scored his sixth try in his last five matches as Saints overcame the loss of influential scrum-half Luke Walsh to grind out a notable victory in front of a 20,224 crowd.

Walsh went off after 21 minutes with a pulled muscle in his back but Jon Wilkin slotted seamlessly into his role and combined with Lance Hohaia to condemn Wigan to defeat.

"It was disappointing losing Walshy but the way we responded was brilliant," added Brown. "We needed to try and find a way to win and we did.

"Larney has been playing well for us and Wilko is one of the most influential players, not only in our team but within the competition. He has a big influence on the way we play.

"We knew at half-time if we addressed one or two things structurally that Wilko and Larney can conjure up enough points for us if we get our defence right."

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