Time out … the clock shows 80 minutes before Melbourne’s Young Tonumaipea plays the ball on the final play. Photo: FoxSports
The NRL on Tuesday announced it is investigating new procedures to prevent a repeat of the referees’ decision on Monday night that allowed the Melbourne Storm to score a match-winning try against the St George Illawarra Dragons after fulltime should have been called.
Referees’ boss Tony Archer said that a full review of Monday night’s finish using freeze frame technology showed that the playing of the ball by Storm winger Young Tonumaipea and the fulltime siren occurred almost simultaneously.
The NRL rules state that end of play is to be called “If time expires in either half when the ball is out of play or a player in possession has been tackled and the ball has not been played the referee shall immediately blow his whistle to terminate play”.
Replay of the final seconds of the match show that Tonumaipea had not placed his foot on the ball before the siren sounded, with the clock on the television broadcast expiring a few seconds before he was even tackled.
“The siren and the play the ball were all but simultaneous,” Archer said.
“But, technically, the siren sounded a split second before the Melbourne player ‘heeled’ the ball. So, in that sense, the referee’s call was wrong and the final play should not have proceeded.
“We were only able to work this out by going through the final moments of the game frame by frame so you can appreciate how difficult it would be for a referee to make a call with that degree of accuracy out in the middle.”
From the final play, the Storm then retained possession from a cross-field kick, keeping it alive until the ball eventually ended up back in the hands of Tonumaipea, who crossed in the corner to seal a controversial victory.
“We were courageous tonight but the footy gods weren’t on our side,” Dragons coach Steve Price said after the game.
The NRL’s Head of Football, Todd Greenberg, said they would looking at a number of options to prevent a repeat of the incident including linking the official time clock to that used by the television stations covering the game so fans have an accurate countdown to the final siren and the video referee and timekeeper may also give the on-field referees a verbal countdown through their earpieces during the final seconds of the game.
“This might help in some cases but I don’t think you can ever guarantee that the correct call will be made when the siren goes at virtually the same time as the play the ball,” Greenberg said.
It isn’t the first time the siren has caused controversy in the NRL this season.
Only a fortnight ago Tigers skipper Robbie Farah blew up at the match officials after Manly were allowed to score a try after the half-time siren had sounded.
That came a week after the Warriors were also allowed to play the ball after the siren in a game against the Tigers in Wellington, in which they also scored.
Farah said it wasn’t long before a blunder would cost a team two premiership points, which it did on Monday night.
“They can’t just keep coming up with those errors week in, week out,” Farah said in the post-match press conference after the win against Manly.
“They’ve got to be better. We were lucky today that it didn’t cost us but it’s going to cost a team a big game. It’s just not good enough, they just have got to be better. Not hearing it is not a good enough excuse.”
To rub salt into the wound of the gallant Dragons on Monday night, they played the final 90 seconds with 12 men.
Back-rower Joel Thompson had been taken from the field mid-way through the second half for a concussion test, and under the new NRL rules the Dragons are allowed a free interchange if Thompson was to return within 15 minutes.
However Thompson was unable to make it back on the field and the Dragons had used up all of their 10 interchanges.
It meant Thompson’s replacement had to be taken from the field with just over a minute remaining, which Price later described as “gut-wrenching”.
smh苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au with Michael Chammas and Michael Carayannis
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.