Dogs try should have counted: ref's boss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs try should have counted: ref's boss

16/05/2009 02:02:46 PM Comments (0)

NRL referees boss Robert Finch stopped short of announcing Steve Clark's axing despite admitting the video referee got it wrong in denying Bulldogs centre Jamal Idris's match-winning try on Friday night.

Finch said he could not defend Clark's stunning decision to rob the Bulldogs of two competition points for what the video official claimed was an obstruction play by Greg Eastwood on St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward in the lead-up to the last minute four-pointer as the Dragons prevailed 20-18.

The call decided the match given there were only 33 seconds left on the clock when Idris touched down, the ladder-leading Bulldogs having now been denied four competition points they thought were rightly theirs this season following their 14th-man breach against Penrith in round two.

"From my review of the video, I am of the opinion it should have been awarded," Finch said in a statement on Saturday.

"I still need to sit down with the video referees in the proper environment on Monday and that remains an important part of our process, but on what I have seen I can't defend the decision.

"Steve said after the game that he felt Soward had been denied the opportunity to defend Luke Patten and he and the rest of the team need the chance to take me through their reasoning in more detail, but I think most people in the game would have seen it as a try and I did as well."

Finch refused to speculate on the likelihood of Clark being back in the video box next weekend, the statement saying: "The appointments for round 11 will be released on Tuesday, as per normal, after all round 10 matches have been reviewed and assessed."

Finch's acknowledgment would have come as cold comfort to Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore, who showed amazing restraint after the match in saving himself a $10,000 fine for his criticism of the decision which he described as one of the worst he had ever seen

"I feel my players have been really hard done by," Moore said.

"They could have and should have won that game."

The man at the centre of the controversy said he had no idea what he could have done to have avoided contact with Soward, even after watching numerous replays on the big screen.

"I just turned around and he [Soward] ran into me." Eastwood said.

"I can't just disappear into the ground.

"I don't know what I'm meant to do, am I supposed to jump out of the way for him?"

Captain Andrew Ryan admitted the players were struggling to understand interpretations around the obstruction rule - his frustrations adding to those expressed in recent weeks by Test captain Darren Lockyer and Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler.

"I've got no idea what obstruction is in our game any more," Ryan said.

"It's just an absolute lotto every time it goes up (to the video referee)."

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