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‘It’s rubbish’: Annesley slams building criticism of referees ahead of finals

“It’s the intensity of the criticism and the absolutely adamant nature of well this is wrong, this has impacted the outcome,” he said. “Sometimes, someone has to stand up for the referees as well because there are very few people willing to do that.”

On Friday night, Griffin was up in arms when a perceived shoulder charge by Nathan Cleary on Jack Bird went unpunished.

Annesley backed the referee’s decision on Monday, believing it wasn’t a shoulder charge.

“Yes there is contact with the shoulder, but we have to remember what a shoulder charge is. That is someone charging at an opposition player with their shoulder,” he said.

“This is a player who at the last moment decides he’s not going to go through with the tackle in the traditional sense and turn his body sideways. This is not something that is unusual over the course of the game.”

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