Referees co-coach Stuart Raper answers your questions on the try awarded to the Cronulla Sharks in Monday Night’s game against the Dragons.
Question: Why did the video referee award a try to the Sharks in Monday Night Football, it looked like Ben Pomeroy did not have control of the ball?
The most important thing about refereeing is consistency and the decision made on Monday Night Football is consistent with all the calls we have made in the past few years.
The key factor in these loose-ball situations is separation and downward pressure.
Because it is a loose ball, there needs to be downward pressure on the ball, that is what the rule desires for a try to be awarded. Control doesn’t come into it.
When you look at the play live, there looks like there could be some separation or that Pomeroy has bounced the ball.
With the use of the video referee and slow motion, you can see the rotation of the ball stopped when he put his hand on the ball, the ball and hand then go down to the ground together.
You can actually see that the ball has made an indentation in the ground, there is no separation between hand, ball or ground, which means the ball has been forced and then bounced back upwards.
It is one of those tries that live it doesn’t look right, but once you have slowed it down, it ticks all the boxes to be classed as a try.
By examining separation, it allows the video referee to be much more consistent with the rulings and takes out a lot of the grey area.
There was no separation in this case and that is why the Sharks were awarded the try on Monday night.