Official View: Minichiello deserved sin-bin
Each week on NRL.com referees co-coaches Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper analyse all the decisions from the weekend’s games and answer your most frequently asked questions. This week Bill Harrigan tackles the big issues.
Did the video referee get the decision right in awarding a try to Wests Tiger Chris Heighington against Penrith when he grounded the ball while the defender was trying to clean it up in the in-goal?
The video referee deemed that the Panthers never took full possession of the ball because both players got their hands to the ball at the same time. The decision to award the try was due to both players touching the ball at the same time, so the Panthers player is not deemed in possession of the ball.
Was Panthers David Simmons tackled without the ball in the first half? He was ruled to have knocked on and the Tigers scored off the ensuing scrum.
Yes, the referee should have awarded a penalty to the Panthers because David Simmons was tackled without the ball.
Did the video referee get the right decision to award a try to Simon Mannering from a kick in the Warriors' game against Newcastle? Was there a hint of a knock-on before Mannering scored?
The video referee got the right call in this game. The Warriors do not touch the ball in the initial challenge and therefore it is play on. From the first replay it looks like there may have been a Warriors hand involved, but when you look at the other angle and marry the two videos together, the ball has actually cleared his hand by about a metre. It is an optical illusion because the camera isn’t in 3D.
The Warriors did not touch the ball, so therefore it is not a knock-on and it is play on.
What did you think about Dragons hooker Dean Young being penalised for feeding the scrum one-handed?
At the beginning of the year we said that we would be setting scrums, putting the ball in with two hands, making sure the forwards bind and that the teams don’t break until the ball is out. We gave a guarantee that we would work to keep those guidelines throughout the year and that it wouldn’t be a two or three week phase.
The referee was quite entitled to penalise Dean Young on his first feed of the scrum, because he did it with one hand. The referee actually pulled it back and told Young that he needed to feed the scrum with two hands. He explained to Young what he needed to do and then Young did the exact same thing again.
It left the referee no choice but to penalise him. It isn't pedantic, it's the rule.
Do you agree with the decision to sin-bin Anthony Minichiello in the first half of the game between the Dragons and Roosters?
I thought it was an outstanding decision. It was a 50-metre break by St George Illawarra and Dragons fullback Darius Boyd was entitled to stand up and play the ball. He was trying to get a quick play the ball and Minichiello raked the ball out. Minichiello gave away the penalty because his team was trying to get back on-side.
If the Dragons were allowed to the play the ball, the Roosters were in trouble because their defence had been scattered due to the linebreak the previous play. Minichiello knew that a quick play-the-ball could have led to a try. His actions robbed the Dragons of that opportunity and that is why he was sent to the sin-bin.
This office fully supports the decision to sin-bin Minichiello, and the referee would have been asked questions had he not sent the Roosters fullback to the bin.