Dumped Harrigan admits heat on referees - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dumped Harrigan admits heat on referees

By Steve Jancetic 17/08/2010 07:12:53 PM Comments (0)

Dumped video referee Bill Harrigan has labelled his stunning gaffe in awarding a try to St George Illawarra centre Mark Gasnier an `implosion' that has put the heat on whistle-blowers ahead of the NRL finals.

Harrigan was on Tuesday indefinitely stood down from his role in the box after admitting he erred in giving the green light to a four-pointer, despite replays clearly indicating Gasnier had lost the ball in Monday night's clash.

Referees boss Robert Finch refused to guarantee if Harrigan - the game's most experienced referee who controlled a record ten grand finals - would be reinstated before the finals.

Harrigan, who saw the error when he viewed the try on returning home on Monday night, said his punishment was deserved.

But he was more upset at the pressure he had brought upon his fellow referees, with his error capping an ordinary fortnight for NRL officials after what had been a controversy-free few weeks.

"We imploded and I contributed to it and that's probably one of the biggest things that hurts me over this," Harrigan told Sydney radio station 2SM.

"I put the spotlight back on referees and decision-making, whereas if I hadn't have made that blunder, we go through that game relatively unscathed.

"When I walked in and saw Finchy this morning - I just said to him - `mate, I've stuffed up here, I've got this wrong, and I've got to be accountable for it.'

"I said `you've got to drop me for it' and he agreed, he said `absolutely.'"

Finch said the decision to drop Harrigan was proof no-one was immune to the axe as he admitted his entire squad had to lift its game.

"It's a wake-up call for everyone," Finch said.

"They all work very hard at what they do, we just need to work a little harder.

"There's certain standards that we all set and even Bill acknowledges the fact that his standards probably dropped in that decision and we need to be consistent when we appoint all video referees."

Harrigan said he only had one look at the head-on shot which showed Gasnier clearly losing control of the ball as he attempted to plant it over the line with the Dragons leading 6-0 in a game they would eventually win 32-10.

"In the end I had four looks at it, but had I have gone back to that first one and thought that there was a problem now, and been able to see that as clearly as I did when I got home - no risk in the world I would have picked that up," Harrigan said.

"I can understand why people sitting at home would have gone -`wow, look at that, you're kidding.'"

While Finch claimed the gaffe had little impact on the result of Monday night's encounter - despite it giving the Dragons some breathing space in what had been a tight contest - he was well aware of the potential ramifications of an error at a more crucial moment.

"I keep talking about the trains coming - it didn't impact last night but if we don't look at what we do and evaluate what we do, that may occur and we don't want that to happen," he said.

Finch said Harrigan would remain in his role as assistant coach with the referees, but refused to confirm how long he would be kept out of the referees box.

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