Every week referees co-coaches Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan answer your most frequently asked questions from the weekend’s games. This week Harrigan looks at the protocol for dealing with on-field altercations and the try awarded to Roosters’ forward Jason Ryles.
How did you think the referees handled the Manly v Storm incident? What is the process when dealing with these situations?
I can’t say much on this incident and it is hard to comment because we have to allow the Match Review Committee and judicial system time to deal with this. From a referees standpoint, they handled this situation really well and couldn’t have done much more. They followed the correct procedures and processes and that is all we can ask.
Once the initial altercation had been quelled, the referees left a sufficient amount of time before sending Glenn Stewart and Adam Blair to the sin-bin. It is very rare that two players are even sent to the sin-bin at the same time, but there was a fair amount of time left between them.
There have been calls to escort players off and change the policy for these situations, but it is not needed. Our policy has always been to separate them before sin-binning them and that is exactly what the referees did.
The whole incident was unacceptable and a disgusting look for the game.
The referees did a good job dealing with the whole situation. I’ve been asked why the players who rushed in were not also sent to the sin-bin but due to the amount of players involved, it was best handled that the two instigators were sent off and the rest of the players placed on report. It is best to let the match review committee deal with this.
From a referee standpoint, it was good that they took decisive action and that after that incident the match played out as normal. They were quick to act and got the focus back on the footy, which is what everyone is there to do.
What did you think of the try awarded to Roosters forward Jason Ryles in the game against Parramatta?
The decision to award the try was wrong, Jason Ryles lost the ball. The referee Jason Robinson was in the best position he could be and was looking straight at Ryles who was trying to score. To the naked eye and even on the first video replay it looks like a try every day of the week. It is only in slow motion that we realized there was a problem with the grounding of the ball.
You cannot expect Robinson to send the decision upstairs when every indicator looked like it was a certain try. It is easy to ask why he didn’t check it in hindsight, but the reason he didn’t was because of the same as all of us watching it, none of us knew that he had lost the ball until we had seen the slow motion replay.