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Bill Harrigan answers your most frequently asked questions from week one of the NRL Telstra Finals.


What were your thoughts on the performances of the referees in the opening round of the NRL finals?

Overall we were very happy with the performance of all the officials over the weekend.

What did you think about the Ben Barba try that was disallowed due to obstruction?

This was the correct decision. Frank Pritchard makes a decoy run and impedes Dale Cherry-Evans.  Barba takes the gap where Cherry-Evans would have been.

Thoughts on Watmough being penalised for taking out Josh Reynolds when Daly Cherry-Evans was about to kick. Was Reynolds offside at marker?

This is the correct decision as Watmough changes his line and shoulders Reynolds knocking him to the ground. We are comfortable with Reynolds' position at marker as he leaves when the ball clears the ruck.

Was Michael Ennis try rightfully disallowed for a double-movement?

Yes the decision is right.  Brent Kite has hold of Ennis when his ball carrying arm hits the ground. Ennis then promotes the ball to the in-goal.


Did Billy Slater drop the ball when trying to ground it?

We are comfortable with the decision of Benefit of the Doubt as Slater always has his hand underneath the ball and doesn’t lose possession of the ball

Obstruction involving Dave Taylor and Ryan Hoffman – what were your thoughts on try disallowed to Adam Reynolds?

This is a good call and consistent with all our other obstruction calls over the weekend. David Taylor runs into Ryan Hoffman and impedes his ability to stay in the defensive line.  Reynolds takes the gap where Hoffman would have been.


Broncos' Jack Reed double-movement – happy with decision?

Yes, this is the correct decision. Reed promotes the ball from the field of play after it hits the ground and there is a defender holding his legs


Colin Best tapped the ball with his heel – but was told to go back and tap it with his foot – is that not the same thing? 

Yes it was harsh to send him back.  We could have played on.

Obstruction; Jeremy Smith stopping a chance for the defence to tackle Sharks halfback Jeff Robson – right call?

Yes this is correct. Jeremy Smith stops in the line and impedes Dane Tilse.

Was there a forward pass for Sharks try to Nathan Stapelton in corner?

This is the wrong call. The ball goes forward.

Was Canberra's Ferguson offside when he regathered a kick? Should they have checked this?

No Ferguson’s timing was spot on.  He is onside and that is exactly what the touch judge and referee saw.  We have always encouraged the referees and touch judges to make decisions when they have no doubt.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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