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Referees co-coach Stuart Raper answers all your questions from Round 14 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.


What was your view on the incident when Broncos and Roosters players were both claiming the ball, before the Broncos were allowed to play-on and ran downfield?

Matt Cecchin has put his hand up and admitted he got this call wrong. We were comfortable that it was a Broncos possession as called by the officials. Cecchin, as the head referee, had full responsibility and did not think the Broncos player was held because the ball hadn’t touched the ground. But on review, he admits that he has made an error and should have called the player back.

We have the flexibility now where he could have called him back and asked him to play the ball. So that was an error of judgement from the referee.

Watch the Broncos-Roosters incident

Why did the referee award a try to the Roosters when the player knocked on? Should he have gone to the video replay?

Matt Cecchin was in a good position, it looked like a try, so he awarded it. There was no complaint from any Broncos players, even they didn’t realise that the ball had been dropped. It was only when there was a replay that showed the ball had been dislodged and the attacking player had dropped the ball before grounding it. It should have been a no-try, but after it had been awarded by the on-field referee, the decision can’t be changed. The referee missed it and admits that he got it wrong.

Watch the Arona try decision

Are you happy with the decision to award Jake Friend a try?

We are comfortable with the decision. The ball hits the ground and the referee was in a great position to make a call. He saw Friend get the ball down before the other defenders held him up, so he gave it a try. It was the correct decision.

Watch Jake Friend's try for the Roosters

What's your view on the Peter Wallace try awarded thanks to benefit of the doubt – was there a double movement?

It is benefit of the doubt at worst. They got the right ruling here. While the ball and arm bounce up, the ball never leaves the chest of Wallace. Obviously there is a little bit of doubt whether he promoted it or whether it was momentum that caused this to happen. After looking at it at speed, the video referee decided it was a benefit of the doubt try. We were happy with that decision.

Watch the Peter Wallace try


The Manu Vatuvei no-try call – do you agree with it?

I believe they got this call wrong. Especially when you have the option to give it ‘benefit of the doubt’. It is a tough one to call; it looks like Vatuvei’s hand comes in contact with the ball and the ball stops rolling and bounces up. We believe it should have been awarded a try.

Did you agree with the decision to award James Maloney a try was it a double-movement?

There is no doubt that this was a try. Maloney does not promote the ball, it is already out and over the try-line, he is entitled to put it down. He didn’t bring it up off a position of his chest or try to reach out, the ball is always out and he puts it down. So they got that call right.

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