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Official View: Refs got Panthers-Eels call right

Bill Harrigan NRL.com Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - 4:30 PM

Referees co-coach Bill Harrigan answers your questions from Round 19, including the controversial finish to the Penrith-Parramatta match. Copyright: NRL Photos

Referees co-coach Bill Harrigan answers your questions from Round 19 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Why were Parramatta not awarded another set of six in the dying seconds against Penrith after an apparent charge-down by the Panthers? Why did the referee blow time-off?  

Jarryd Hayne kicked the ball straight into a Panthers player and the ball was a rebound, it was not a charge-down.  Therefore the referees made the right decision that it was play-on and still the last tackle for the Eels. I have had a few enquiries about whether the referee should have blown time-off after the tackle on Luke Burt and after reviewing the play today, the answer is yes. The referee got it right.

The requirement of Luke Burt on the last tackle is to leave the ball on the ground and then either go to marker or his defensive position. In this case, both referees were yelling ‘last tackle, last tackle’. Burt got tackled and it looks like the referee has blown a penalty, when in fact he is indicating that it is a changeover due to six tackles being complete.

If Burt had left the ball on the ground and got up as he should have, the referee would have allowed the game to continue and would not have blown time-off.

Burt gets up with the ball and then Tim Mannah and Ben Smith run over to cover the ball, and then Smith takes the ball and walks off with it.

That is the reason the decision was made to call time-off.

The referee blows time-off when he believes a team is losing an opportunity because of the other team wasting time.

Had the ball been left where the tackle was made, there would have been no need for the referee to call time-off.

Watch the Penrith v Parramatta highlights

Was the try awarded to Parramatta's Casey McGuire similar to that of Sam Thaiday’s in Origin? Why was it awarded?

The try was OK. The first contact from Taniela Lasalo is on his teammate Casey McGuire in the act of scoring a try. You are allowed to add weight to your own team member as long as you don’t touch the defender.  

We know in the end his body does touch Coote, but his initial contact is with his own player and that is why the referee ruled benefit of the doubt.

The decision the referee has to make with the ‘driver’ is whether they affect the defender executing his tackle. We allow players to lend weight as long as they do it to their own player and not the defender – as is what happened with the Sam Thaiday example in State of Origin 3.

Watch the Casey McGuire try for Parramatta

The 'Ref's Call' video referee decision with Knights winger James McManus – why was this sent back from the video referee to the on-field? Why was it awarded?

The video referee did not have all the information in front of him; he could not see the ball and the line all at the same time. He didn’t have all the information that he needed and that is why he sent it back to the on-field referee (ref's call) to make a decision.

The referee was checking a double movement because he actually could see the ball touching the line. He knew that McManus had bounced short but had eventually touched the line, and wanted to know whether or not it was a double movement.  

Because the video referee didn’t have all that information, he sent it back to the referee, who awarded the try.

When do the video referees use the ‘ref's call’?

They rule benefit of the doubt when they have all the information in front of them and still can’t tell whether it is a try or not.  

They will send it back to the on-field referee when they don’t have all the information they need to make a decision.