Each week referees co-coaches Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan look at all the pressing issues for referees. This time Raper looks at grand final week through the eyes of an official and also answers your questions about the first preliminary final between Manly and the Broncos.
Grand final week
This is a really exciting week for the two sides, but it is also an exciting week for the officials. We will nominate our referees for the grand final tomorrow; certainly their week will be as exciting and intense as that for the two teams competing.
At this stage of the year fitness is not an issue for our officials, so our sessions will be short and sharp, just reiterating what we have done throughout the course of the year.
Our guidelines have been in place across all 26 weeks of the competition and the finals - they will be applied the same way in the grand final.
The appointed referees will be at the grand final breakfast on Thursday and will complete their final session on Friday. I know all our referees have been competing throughout theyear for the chance to officiate the grand final. Whoever gets the job will be very excited and the appointment will be very much deserved.
I’m not too sure if the coaches will try to contact us this week, as this is Bill's and my first final as referees coaches. But I believe both coaches know where we have been coming from with regard to consistency week in and week out. I think they will expect no change.
Manly v Brisbane
Was Matt Ballin’s try a double movement?
We are happy that there was no double-movement in this try. The arm carrying the ball never touched the ground and he simply reached out and placed the ball cleanly on the line.
Should Matt Gillett have been awarded a try benefit of the doubt when tackled by Jamie Lyon?
We believe the process by video referee Russell Smith was correct: he referred the decision back to the on-field referee as there was no conclusive evidence the ball had touched the ground, and the on-field referee was in a better position to make a decision.
Talking at our referees meeting this morning, we all agreed they came up with the right decision.
What did you think of the try that was disallowed when Corey Parker was ruled as an obstruction?
This was a correct decision. It is classed as obstruction/ boring. You can’t use your own player who is playing the ball to impede the defenders. The defenders were denied an opportunity to make a play on the ball carrier, and this is why it was a penalty.
Could the Broncos have been awarded a penalty try because of Matai’s knees?
The reason why it wasn’t a penalty try or an eight-point try is that the ball was already considered out. The knees came in after he was already out of play, so the penalty was deemed sufficient.