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Official View: Knights try was fair

Bill Harrigan NRL.com Tue, Mar 13, 2012 - 8:00 AM

Tony Archer explains the decision to Sharks captain Paul Gallen. Copyright: NRL Photos

Referees co-coach Bill Harrigan answers your most frequently asked questions from Round 2.

Sharks v Knights – What was your official view on the try awarded to the Knights in Sunday’s game that went to the video referee before being sent back as a 'Ref’s Call'?

Watch the Junior Sa'u try against Cronulla

In this instance, the video referee has correctly gone through the process and in his opinion, the ball was stripped out of the hands of the attacking player, which the defenders are entitled to do if it is a try-scoring situation. There is no doubt that the attacker was in the act of scoring a try, so the defence has every right to strip the ball, which is what happened in this play.

But after the ball had been dislodged by the defenders, the video referee could not determine whether a Cronulla hand got on the ball and grounded it or whether the Knights player regathered the ball. This is because there were players between the camera obstructing the view of what was happening.

Not having that information from any angle available to him, the video referee asked the on-field referee whether or not he had an opinion on the play. The answer was yes.

Because the on-field referees had an opinion on the play, it was sent back to them as a ‘ref’s call’.

The touch judge was looking straight at the play from six or seven metres away. The referee went on the touch judge’s opinion that a try had been scored. The opinion was that the Newcastle player regathered the ball after it had been legally stripped, therefore it was a try.

I’m happy with the process taken to get to that decision and I’m happy with the final verdict to award the try.