Finch calls for refereeing rules rethink - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Finch calls for refereeing rules rethink

By Steve Jancetic 17/08/2010 07:05:57 PM Comments (0)

Referees boss Robert Finch claims the NRL rule book needs to catch up with the increasing influence of technology on the game.

While Finch stopped short of using rule interpretations as an excuse for video referee Bill Harrigan's controversial try ruling in Monday night's NRL clash at WIN Jubilee Oval, he admitted the use of slow-motion replays had increased the pressure on referees.

Central to his concerns appears to be the grey area concerning the grounding of the ball in try-scoring situations, where separation plays a significant role and control of the ball is not considered.

"With technology, the rule book is really under pressure," Finch said.

"What used to be quite clearly no try or a try, with super slow mo and nine or ten or so many camera angles now, it's really put the heat on the rule book, on grounding."

Harrigan incorrectly based his decision to award a try to St George Illawarra centre Mark Gasnier on the basis of side-on views that were inconclusive in showing whether his hand or arm lost contact with the ball.

While Gasnier never had control of the ball as he attempted to ground it - that was not an area of concern for Harrigan or any video referee.

"When you are in possession of the football, there's no such thing in the rule book as control - those sorts of situations with technology has created a real problem for the rule book," Finch said.

"The rule book quite clearly has its place - but I think there needs to be a close look at where we go going forward with that position with technology and the rules of the game."

Finch admitted the greatest obstacle in using technology as a basis for rules was its lack of use in competitions outside the NRL.

"Unfortunately you've got an NRL competition which is heavily skewed with technology," Finch said.

"But you also have a game out there in country areas and even metropolitan areas that doesn't have that technology."

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