Water Cooler: Did the refs get it right?

Still seething over a controversial no-try ruling that almost cost his team victory against Penrith on Saturday night, Canberra coach David Furner says his greatest fear over the coming weeks is that a refereeing blunder will determine the outcome of a side’s season.<br><br>Furner is furious that a Terry Campese try in the 57th minute – with his side up 24-12 and quickly gaining the ascendency – was disallowed for a dubious obstruction ruling on Panthers lock Nathan Smith.<br><br>Canberra very nearly paid the ultimate price, with Penrith scoring two quick tries down the other end to close the gap to two, with Furner telling NRL.com today that he feared similar decisions could change the course of the premiership race.<br><br>“I’m hoping it doesn’t come down to a decision like that in any of these games going forward,” he said. <br><br>“We’re talking about a massive turnaround and taking away a team’s progress and their season.<br><br>“I know that everyone is under pressure – teams, coaches, referees – but I just hope none of the games are settled by poor decisions.”<br><br><b><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=905&amp;fixtureid=50020102703&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=videorefdecisionnotry&amp;period=2&amp;time=998">CLICK HERE to see the Campese no-try ruling.</a></b><br><br>Asked if he was frustrated that the Campese ruling nearly ended his side’s year, Furner said:<br><br>“Well it did – I’m still very angry that we had to survive. In saying that I’m proud of the way the players responded to it. <br><br>“I know we came up with some errors on play one and play two when we could have put on a bit more pressure but at that point in the game – and you can always pick a point in most games – that momentum change can win a game. <br><br>“I was that disappointed – and I’m still a bit peeved about it, to be honest.”<br><br>Ironically, Furner spoke with referees boss Robert Finch only last week and gave the thumbs up after Brisbane was awarded a try in almost identical circumstances against the Raiders at Suncorp Stadium.<br><br>But he said the decision to disallow the Campese try demonstrated a worrying lack of understanding of the intricacies of rugby league by the game’s top whistleblowers.<br><br>“The week before Matt Gillett scored in the corner and Bronson Harrison was impeded but when I looked at it, I don’t think Bronson could have got there anyway so I wasn’t too worried about that,” he said.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=862&amp;fixtureid=50020102602&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=2&amp;time=2068">CLICK HERE to see the Gillett try against the the Raiders in Round 26.</a><br><br>“To me, you’ve really got to know what defensive patterns are like and you’ve got to have a good understanding of it. <br><br>“The one on the weekend, there is no way – it was a Maradona special by Nathan Smith. <br><br>“He had no intention of trying to get there. He threw it, and it worked. <br><br>“So you’ve really got to have an understanding of defences… and that’s left a real sour taste in my mouth because that was a turning point. <br><br>“I thought in that situation, if we score there, we probably put on a few more points. That’s the way games are. <br><br>“To Penrith’s credit they can score points too if you give them an opportunity but I thought that was taken away from us by a very poor decision.”<br><br>Furner isn’t alone in his concerns with a number of decisions in the dramatic final moments of Saturday’s Roosters-Tigers clash also coming under scrutiny.<br><br>They included a decision not to penalise Wests Tigers forward Simon Dwyer for a high tackle on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves that would have given the Roosters a shot at goal to win from directly in front and a subsequent similar decision not to penalise the Roosters for pushing in the scrum and breaking formation to steal possession.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=905&amp;fixtureid=50020102702&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=bigcollision&amp;period=2&amp;time=2554">CLICK HERE to see Dwyer's massive hit.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=905&amp;fixtureid=50020102702&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=bigcollision&amp;period=2&amp;time=2554">CLICK HERE to see the scrum push which was not penalised.</a><br><br>Asked his thoughts on the Dwyer tackle, Roosters coach Brian Smith quipped: “Steve Clark might be happy with the result. I thought [it was high] from what I saw.”<br><br>Furner said inconsistencies in the decision-making were the most difficult aspect for players and coaches to deal with.<br><br>“That doesn’t necessarily mean at the end of the game, either,” he said. “I know it holds more value at the end because you could have won it there or lost it there but for me it’s those inconsistencies week in, week out. <br><br>“You get penalised one week and it’s not consistent. <br><br>“When you’ve got the technology to stop the game and look at it… the game is fast and for referees to make the decision in the run of play, I understand that sometimes you’re going to get the calls for you and sometimes you’re not. <br><br>“But when you’ve got a screen there and six or seven different replays, get it right. It’s as simple as that.”