Referees co-coach Bill Harrigan answers your most frequently asked questions from Round 1 of the NRL season. This week, he looks at the key decisions in the Wests Tigers' clash with the Cronulla Sharks at Leichhardt Oval.
What is your official view on the Colin Best double-movement ruling?
I 100 per cent agree with the double-movement ruling on the Colin Best no-try call, as does referees co-coach Stuart Raper. Colin Best’s arm carrying the ball hits the ground, his momentum stops, and then there is a second effort to get the ball over the line. At no stage does the tackler drop off him, so the tackle was correctly deemed complete. There is no grey area with this ruling; it is a clear double-movement.
Should the Sharks have been penalised after their charge down in extra-time?
The rule on a charge-down is that all players are deemed to be back on-side by the act of a charge-down. In this case, the referee got a call from his touch judge that the Sharks players were in front of the kicker and then became involved in the play. The referee then penalised them for this infringement.
That decision was incorrect. The players were no longer offside due to the act of the charge-down. The touch judge and the referee got that decision wrong.
The ruling should have been a knock-on against Wests Tigers’ Benji Marshall and a scrum feed to Cronulla.
We have looked at the eagle-cam today, and it proved that the Wests Tigers players were on-side in their attempt to charge the ball down, so there was no problem there. But the simple fact is that the Sharks players were put back on-side due to the charge-down and should not have been penalised.
The right ruling would have been a scrum feed to the Sharks.
It is important to make clear that at the end of the game or at any time during the game, there was no conversation between Sharks officials and the referees.