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EYE-BALL’s Snoop-Poop on – Rugby League under threat – Do referees have too much influence –

September 16, 2012
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– Rugby League under threat –
– Do referees have too much influence
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Snoop-Poop | 16th sep 2012 |
This author made a comment some weeks ago about how a Referee’s mistake would decide the outcome of important games leading up to the finals series.

That comment proved correct when in two Friday night games in round 23, both the Broncos and Tigers were punished with game losses on the back of video ref’s calls.

Last Friday night Manly and Cowboys played a final for the right to play in the preliminary final round.  The loser was eliminated and during the game there was not one mistake, but there were two controversial calls that advantaged Manly and allowed then to break from a tight game to win comfortably.

Bad calls have always been a part of Rugby League and it is these calls that make fans so passionate.

The NRL just signed a $billion+ deal and with that type of money now invested in the game – the Game has no right to allow mediocrity from referees who have the power to dictate the outcome of games.

I again refer to another incident in the same Friday night game when a  penalty in the third minute of the game was awarded.  The lead up was a set from Canberra when perennial Manly grub Watmough prolonged in a 5th tackle on halfway.  It deserved a penalty – yet when Manly were under pressure and on their 10 meter line in the immediate kick chase after that fifth tackle – a similar tackle was penalised against the Cowboys early in the tackle count.   From that penalty and the next set of six, Manly score.

The point being that the call on both those tackles was subjective and in the hands of Referees – with two referees on the field, one man’s opinion may have been harsher than the other  – this is where the crackdown needs to happen.

Ref Hayne gave the Manly penalty – was he in charge of the ruck when Watmough made his indiscretion that went unpunished.  Had Cowboys received the penalty on half-way – who is to say that it would not have been Cowboys who scored first and the whole context of the game changes from the 4th minute.

This is the area of the game that needs to be looked at.   Penalties lead to tries and it has been shown all season that back to back sets are the highest precursor of factors that lead to tries. Players are allowed to lay around the play the ball and then get penalised for the same infringement at other periods of the game.

The Ruck:

This is the single area where most penalties are generated.  Why not look at this area and try to define what is too much when it comes to ‘slowing the play the ball’.

When a team gets a roll on and is allowed quick play the balls, retreating defences are often caught off-side and called out of the play.  So the coaches drill their players to slow down the play the ball and are happy to yield the penalty so defensive lines can reset from the ensuring penalty.  It is the lesser of two evils in a defensive line.

If the query Is in the ‘time’ between when a player is deemed to be ‘held’ and when he plays the ball – the solution for a coach is easy – he just says put more defensive players on top of the ball runner and have them peel off individually.  A Fer can’t penalised that!

If the rule was a count of say ‘3 or 4’ by the referee from the time he calls ‘held’ – and if the ball carrier was not attempting to play the ball at the end of that time count – then the penalty is automatic – that then gives no excuse for the arbitrary call from referees depending on their interpretation of the speed of the play the ball.   Coaches knowing the rule is standardised – then has to adjusts its defensive response to comply to the rule interpretation.

This ‘ruck’ area is the single most contentious area in the game – the scrums were previously, and the rule was changed to whoever feeds the scrum now gets the ball.  Scrums are no longer a part of our game in the context of what they represented before the rule changers.   That is sorry for the game and has made the game more predictable.

Hookers are not required to be skilled anymore – they are now dummy-halves and that is a completely different skill set.

Over a season – 1000’s of ref’s calls have a direct impact on the result of a game.   It is time for the League to do something about the ‘Ruck’ and take the poor and inconsistent decisions out of the game.

What is seen as a penalty in the first 10 min’s or so when Ref;s are trying to stamp their efforts on the game – is not penalised in the back-end of a game.  Markers standing square in midfield – is somewhat not an issue when teams are defending near their own line.  The ball carrier playing the ball with his foot touching the ball is seen as important in some games but overlooked in others.

The number of examples are numerous and if League wants to keep its fans – it has to get the important calls 100% right.   For a referee’s call to have the influence it now has on the result of a game, it only opens the League up to all types of claims of rigging and team favouritism.


EYE-BALL’s Snoop-Poop …

  1. big punter
    September 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    i backed manly and find no fault with the referees

  2. September 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Bloody skyte …

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