Officials dropped as Brennan calls for video referral system rethink
Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan says it's time for the video referral system to be reviewed and referees not be required to refer an incident to the video adjudicators as a 'try' or 'no try'.
The Titans were on the receiving end of one the season's most glaring Referees' Bunker errors on Sunday night and Brennan received a call from referees' boss Bernard Sutton on Monday to concede the decision was wrong when a try was awarded to Roosters debutant Sean O'Sullivan in the first half of their 20-12 loss at Cbus Super Stadium.
He says the call from referee Jon Stone to send it for review as a 'try' was in some ways inconsequential as it appeared so obvious after replays that O'Sullivan had dragged the ball to the ground after it hit the post which was a knock-on.
Stone and senior review official Steve Chiddy have been demoted in the wake of Sutton admitting they made the wrong call.
Chiddy has not been allocated a game this weekend and Stone, who was the head referee in the match and awarded the try on the field before sending it to be reviewed, has been demoted to assistant referee for the Warriors match against the Storm this Sunday.
Brennan feels it's time for the NRL to look at changing the rule so referees are not pressured into sending an on-field call for review and putting the Bunker in the position to find enough evidence to overrule when both parties may not be sure.
He believes if it is not conclusive that a try has been scored, the benefit should go to the defending side – a virtual reversal of the old "benefit of doubt" rule which led to tries being allowed when several video replays still could not determine if it was a correct call.
"I don't understand the reason they have to do that (referees making an on-field call before referring to the Bunker)," Brennan said.
"I think in the past it would have gone up with 'I have an opinion' instead of putting pressure on the people in the bunker to support what the referee has said.
"That is something for Todd Greenberg and people in higher places to discuss, but it does need to be looked at, that's for sure."
While Brennan felt hard done by with the O'Sullivan call and what appeared a forward pass from Kurt Baptiste to Poasa Faamausili for a second-half Roosters try, he appreciated the call from Sutton.
"I sent him through some other issues in the game that I felt needed clarification on and he contacted me and explained they got it wrong in relation to the try to Sean O'Sullivan," he said.
"In fairness to Bernard, he said we can't 100% say the pass for the other try was forward because of the camera angles but it did appear to be forward.
"Credit to Bernard, he rang up, and he wore it as coaches do, and we move on.
"People can say that six points doesn't change a game but it actually does, it changes the whole game. It's like a Sliding Doors moment.
"We have to be better in certain areas, and I said that to Bernard last night. He needs to work on his staff to be better and I need to work on my players to be better."
Titans centre Brendan Elliot looks certain to be refused a clearance to play for English club Leigh who jumped the gun and announced his signing last week, before a clearance from the club or a visa had been achieved, in an attempt to boost their stocks and gain promotion back to Super League.
Leigh, who have former Titans duo Daniel Mortimer and Bodene Thompson plus ex-Knights centre Peter Mata'utia in their ranks, declared the immediate short-term signing of Elliot – off contract at season's end – with three rounds remaining before the Super Eight promotion-relegation series.
With Dale Copley out for the season and Tyronne Roberts-Davis suffering a should injury in an opposed session last week, Elliot is the only back-up to first-choice centres Konrad Hurrell and Brenko Lee.