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Referees co-coach Bill Harrigan answers your questions from week 2 of the NRL finals.

Manly v North Queensland

What were your thoughts on the strip from Ashley Graham before the Cowboys scored their opening points?

We got this call wrong, the touch judge called ‘lost ball’ and it was an incorrect decision. Ashley Graham strips the ball out of the Manly player’s hands and should have been penalised.

There is a lot of talk and a lot of people suggesting that the refereeing on Friday night between the Manly Sea Eagles and North Queensland Cowboys left a lot to be desired. We have debriefed that game thoroughly and we believe the on-field referees had a really good performance. There are only two issues that have been raised from our review of that game that they got wrong in the whole 80 minutes. We have already accepted that the video referee got a decision wrong and we have put our hand up and acknowledged that mistake.

But it is important to note that the on-field referees only missed two calls. One is the strip by Cowboys’ Ashley Graham and the other was in the 77th minute when James Tamou throws a pass forward which was missed by the officials. The pass didn’t have any impact on the game, but it should have been called forward. They are the only two errors the referees made on the night and it is important that we acknowledge this.

Thoughts on the try awarded to Jorge Taufua?

This is a try and we are happy with the decision by the video referee. On review, the camera angle from ground level shows that the ball touches the white line prior to the corner post obscuring the footage. The rest of the play is irrelevant, because Taufua has already grounded the ball.

Thoughts on the try awarded to Michael Oldfield when it appeared Kieran Foran had knocked-on in the lead-up?

The video referee got this call wrong. A review of the try awarded to Michael Oldfield shows that there was enough evidence to determine that Kieran Foran did make contact with the ball in the lead-up to the try and that a ‘knock-on’ should have been awarded.

While we accept the video referees were faced with an incredibly tough decision, there was sufficient evidence to suggest Foran made contact with the ball.

South Sydney v Canberra

Sam Williams for Raiders opening try – happy with no obstruction ruling?

Sam Williams does not run behind anybody, the defence goes to the support runner and there is no obstruction. The support runner is not deemed to be a decoy runner. This is a fair try and the video referee made the right decision.

John Sutton – what was the decision when he tried to reach out in the second half?

The video evidence conclusively shows that the ball was short of the line and never gets to the ground. Therefore the no-try ruling is the correct decision. However there was a third marker who never gets back on-side and gets involved in the tackle, which is a clear penalty and rightly awarded to South Sydney. The penalty here is sufficient and the right ruling.

Please explain the penalty try awarded to Greg Inglis?

The penalty try is the correct decision. In all likelihood Inglis would have taken the ball and scored had he not been tackled without the ball. Inglis ends up finishing in the in-goal anyway, so it is reasonable to believe had he not been tackled without the ball, he would have scored.

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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