Referees co-coach Stuart Raper answers your most frequently asked questions from Round 3.
Question: Why was Taniela Lasalo’s try for Parramatta against South Sydney ruled a double-movement?
We can understand why referee Matt Cecchin made the decision because when viewed live it looked as though the Eels player had promoted the ball.
Having said that, he probably should have sent the decision upstairs to the video referee and had he done so, on video evidence, the try would have been awarded.
The ball bounces, but the player never extended his arm, the ball stays in the same position the whole time.
When looking at the double-movement, one of the key indicators that we look at is if the arm extends and if the ball moves.
In this instance, momentum carries the player, the ball is not promoted, and the try should have been awarded.
Question: What is the interchange process when the referee stops play for an injured player after he has ordered a scrum?
In 2009 we notified all clubs and officials that in the case of a genuine injury an interchange can take place at a scrum.
During the Manly-Newcastle game at Brookvale Oval there was confusion between the club trainers and the interchange official about Knights player Richard Fa’aoso being interchanged.
The ground manager did try to intervene, however he was unable to gain the attention of the Knights trainers before Fa’aoso went back to the scrum. All clubs and game day officials were today reminded of these procedures.
The original intent of the “no interchanges at scrums” rule was to stop the once rampant practice of players feigning injury at scrums just for the purpose of allowing an interchange to occur at a stoppage rather than during the run of play. These increased stoppages slowed the game down to the point where the abuse of the rule became a mockery.
The rule was never intended to penalise a team in the case of a genuine injury where the player concerned is unable to continue.
Accordingly, the NRL is prepared to relax the interpretation of this rule on a trial basis so that in any case where the referee calls time out and he is satisfied a player has suffered a genuine injury requiring an interchange, the referee can hold the game up until the injured player leaves the field and the replacement player takes the field. A similar interpretation applies in the case of a bleeding player.
It is important to note the trainer can do two things: he can ask the referee to stop play in the case of an injured player, or he can tell the referee that the team is making a change.