Stuart calls off meeting with Harrigan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart calls off meeting with Harrigan

David Beniuk 30/05/2011 06:55:45 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Ricky Stuart has abandoned his face-to-face meeting with referees boss Bill Harrigan, concerned it would have become a media circus.

Stuart had planned to meet Harrigan on Monday to discuss several contentious calls that went against the Blues in State of Origin I and to air concerns ahead of game two on June 15.

Instead, the pair spoke by phone with Harrigan giving an undertaking he would identify which slow rucks from game one should have been penalised.

"We didn't want this to be a media thing where it was built up to be more than what it really should be," Harrigan told AAP.

"We decided we would have our discussion over the phone rather than have probably gratuitous photographs and camera shots walking in and out and then doing a press conference."

Three controversial calls went against the Blues, who lost 16-12, and Harrigan has admitted referees Tony Archer and Jared Maxwell got two of them wrong.

Harrigan said penalties should have been awarded to NSW for a mid-air tackle on fullback Josh Dugan and a strip by Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston.

But he suggested a forward pass call against halfback Mitchell Pearce was correct.

"After debriefing a very tough game, there could have been a couple of instances when NSW should have been penalised as well," Harrigan's Official View on the nrl.com website said.

"In the 28th minute NSW had players break from a scrum early. In the 67th minute, Michael Ennis could have been penalised for dragging Darren Lockyer off a tackled player."

The Blues raised the issue of the ruck speed after last Wednesday's Suncorp Stadium game and Harrigan confirmed it had again been raised by Stuart.

"There were a number of rucks that were slow and should have been penalised on both sides," he said.

"I will give (Stuart) and (Queensland coach) Mal (Meninga) the courtesy of showing them the rucks that we believe should have been penalised because they impacted on the speed of the play-the-ball.

"The instructions in game two will be any impact on the speed of the play-the-ball needs to be penalised, as it is in the week-to-week NRL games."

Harrigan has already dismissed claims from the Maroons that he okayed shoulder charges on kickers in Origin.

He added on Monday the common belief that players get away with more in the series was wrong, saying the only leniency from referees was in acknowledging the speed of the play in Origin.

"They understand that the impact of a penalty in an Origin game is more than in an NRL game just because of the speed of the game and obviously the 26 best players are on the field," he said.

Maxwell replaced Shayne Hayne, who officiated all three Origin games with Archer last year and Harrigan said referees for game two would be selected on form.

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