A leaked conversation between NRL Referees boss Tony Archer and Channel Nine CEO Hugh Marks has revealed why Brisbane won their controversial Friday night match against Souths.
ARCHER: Hello, Tony Archer here.
MARKS: Arch, Hugh Marks here. How ya going mate?
ARCHER (dread forming inside him): Not too bad Hugh. How are you?
MARKS: Good mate. So you know who’s playing this Friday night on Nine?
ARCHER: Brisbane and Souths, why?
MARKS: C’mon Arch, don’t play dumb.
ARCHER: Hugh, please, not this again!
MARKS: Arch, do you have any idea how much Nine have spent to get all the Broncos’ games on free-to-air? We need a return on our investment. You know what you need to do…
ARCHER: Hugh, I have a reputation to maintain.
MARKS: Oh piss off Arch! Everyone hates the refs and the Bunker’s a dead set joke! We all know it!
ARCHER (sighs): How do you want me to fix it this time?
MARKS: Easy, make sure any 50/50 call favours the Broncos. Then when the punters start complaining, just say the Bunker didn’t have “conclusive evidence” or whatever.
ARCHER: Hugh, I can't keep trotting out the same old excuses.
MARKS: Mate, it’s nearly Origin time. I’ve got Benny in my ear telling me how many players they’re gonna lose. If they don’t start winning, they may not make the finals. We can’t have that, can we Arch?
ARCHER: But they lost to Melbourne and North QLD and you were fine with that.
MARKS: That’s because the Storm and Cowboys are decent teams, we can spin those losses as finals dress rehearsals or whatever. The Broncos can’t lose to Souths though.
ARCHER: Really Hugh, I can’t keep this up….
MARKS: LISTEN YOU STUPID F****, DO AS I SAY OR YOU’LL BE THE NEW CO-HOST OF THE FOOTY SHOW SO BLOODY FAST!
ARCHER (terrified): Ok, ok, Hugh! I’ll do it! Anything but The Footy Show!
MARKS (calmer): Good man. While you’re at it, make sure Anthony Milford has a good game. The missus put a tidy sum on him winning the Dally M.