McNamara unsure of Hall decision
Flustered England coach Steve McNamara has relayed his uncertainty over video referee Bernard Sutton's decision to not reward barnstorming winger Ryan Hall a match-winning try with 42 seconds remaining in England’s 16-12 loss to the Kangaroos.
With Australian fullback Greg Inglis failing to pick up the scraps of back-rower Liam Farrell's grubber kick in-goal, Hall appeared to come over the top of a flailing Inglis to get a hand to the ball. Video referee Sutton went on to agree with the on-field decision which judged Hall failed to get any downward pressure on the ball, and knocked on.
While McNamara was unsure of the decision as a whole, he could understand why his winger didn't celebrate with many pointing out the Leeds winger gave himself away.
"Hall definitely touched it... which we could all see. He wasn't sure if it was on the ground when he touched it or not. That's why he didn't celebrate simply because he knew if it wasn't [a try] it would have been a 20 metre tap as opposed to a goal line dropout," McNamara told the media following the game.
"Maybe he should have got up and celebrated because it did look like he was applying some pressure to the ball whilst it was on the ground."
McNamara, who also doubles as an assistant coach under Trent Robinson at the Roosters, went on to discuss his opinion on the referee referral system.
Under current rugby league guidelines, the on-field referee is to give his opinion of a try scoring play before sending it upstairs to the video referee to adjudicate – something McNamara believes doesn't necessarily work.
"I'm not sure whether it has completely worked for the referees this year," McNamara pointed out.
"I think if you're going to the video referee to query the decisions it's because you're not sure one way or the other so they should let the video referee make the decision.
"If he comes back and can't obviously make a call on it, it should then come back to a ref's call which used to happen back in the day."
While England would end up on the wrong end of the scoreboard, McNamara was definitely happy with his team's efforts.
Up 12-4 at halftime, England would have been hoping to go on with it in the second half but failed to score a single point.
With the Kangaroos led by five-eighth Daly Cherry-Evans, captain Cameron Smith and the influential presence of Ben Hunt, England had no answers in the second stanza, yet McNamara thought his troops played well.
"We really wanted to throw some things at Australia and we did that particularly in the first half. We managed to get some field position in the first half and created some issues and some problems for Australia," McNamara said.
"But in the second half it felt like we were coming out of our own end for most of the half. We were very resilient and dug in very deep but unfortunately we couldn't get any ball sets in the second half which obviously prevented us from scoring any more points."
"We wanted to try and come out and play in the second half but we were put in some very tough field positions."
England are now faced with a must-win scenario against New Zealand next weekend in Dunedin if they are to advance to the Four Nations final in a fortnight's time.