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James Tamou judiciary, reduced sentence, James Tamou referee spray, Wests Tigers, Ben Cummins, NRL360, buzz Rothfield, Paul Kent

Tigers veteran James Tamu slammed referee Ben Cummins as “incompetent” and criticized the reduced sentence as “disappointing”.

The 33-year-old successfully had a third-degree misconduct charge dropped after pleading guilty on Tuesday night, meaning he can play his final game in front of Tigers fans at Leichhardt Oval.

The Daily Telegraph’s Buzz Rothfield and NRL360 co-host Paul Kent came out swinging, calling for the “good block” defense to be scrapped.

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Members of the rugby league community have expressed their support for the veteran, including Phil Gould, who called on the NRL to drop the punishment because of his “immediate regret” and “exemplary performance” as the referee’s splash was wrong.

“I think it’s a shame, I don’t know when you think about human behavior when you put a ban like that, we’ve all heard what he said, it’s a shame and we have to look at it, the referees,” Rothfield said on NRL360.

“You can’t take human quality away from him.”

“That’s my issue with having ex-players on the judging panel, they’re going to be fool gold and he’s a great guy, he’s coming to the end of his career,” Kent said.

“We’ll give the good block verdict, what happens the next time a block comes in there and challenges his behavior?

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“If it’s good enough or bad enough, what measure do we apply to consider a reduction?”

Meanwhile, Australian Brent Reading believes the conduct defense should be allowed in the NRL’s jurisdiction – conduct references belong in a court of law.

“I really don’t mind, because in court, they take character references into account,” Read said.

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“Jimmy[Tamu]then stood up, stood up and said he had done something wrong and apologized profusely for it, he had never done this before, it was completely out of character.

“The more I think about it, the more I admire this man.”

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NRL umpires are said to be “rubbish” and Tammu’s convictions have been reduced, showing a lack of support for the umpiring team.

“I think you’ll find the NRL referees, I’ve been told they’re absolute rubbish for not supporting the officials,” Rothfield said.

“It’s rubbish, Andrew Abdo and Peter Vlandis have supported the referees more this year than any other official in the history of the game,” Read said.

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“To say they’re not going to turn around and get support from the NRL is rubbish, absolute rubbish.”

“The judiciary felt sorry for the guy, they felt like giving him a week off,” Kent said.

“A good block defense cannot be part of the judicial process.”

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