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Each week referees co-coaches Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan answer your most frequently asked questions. This week Harrigan looks at the controversial try awarded to Benji Marshall and why Jharal Yow Yeh’s try against the Warriors was disallowed.

Overall I thought we had an exceptional week; there is very little to talk about as far as contentious decisions go. The toughest thing now is that Stuart Raper and I have to cut our referees down by half for this week’s games. The four referees going into this weekend are in the prime position to get next week’s preliminary finals.

Obviously those four referees would have the ideal chance to try to claim a position for the Grand Final on October 2. The standby referees are certainly in there with a chance, if one of the four referees does not perform this weekend.


Were you happy with the decision to award Benji Marshall a try after it appeared he had dropped it in the lead up play against St George Illawarra on Friday night at ANZ Stadium?

The decision by video referee Russell Smith was correct. Benji Marshall deliberately dropped the ball in the motion of kicking and while it undoubtedly went wrong, the ball touched his foot so it is deemed a kick. The ball then bounced up to Beau Scott who juggled it, and Benji took the ball off him and went on to score.

Marshall hadn’t lost control of the ball and then tried to kick it; that would be a knock-on. He deliberately set out to put in a kick, and while it was unconventional, he still got his foot to the ball and thus it was legal.

Watch Marshall's unconventional opening try against the Dragons


What were your thoughts on the decision to disallow the Broncos' first try to Jharal Yow Yeh?

The video referee deemed that Jharal Yow Yeh had lost the ball - you can see the rotation of the ball under his chest so it was ruled to be a knock-on. The ball rolled underneath Yow Yeh’s body and he had no control of it - it had come away from his body. That is why the try was disallowed.

Watch the disallowed Jharal Yow Yeh try


Late in the first half Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen was called back for a forward pass that could have led to a try. What did you make of the pass?

The pass clearly went forward; it was passed one or two metres behind the line and caught a couple of metres in front of the line. We know the ball can move forward over the ground with momentum, but this pass went forward out of the hands. Gavin Badger was in a perfect position to rule on this; he was right in line with it and had no doubt it was forward from the hands.

Watch the disallowed North Queensland try