Harrigan backs Maxwell's Eels call - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harrigan backs Maxwell's Eels call

Ian McCullough 18/07/2011 06:29:50 PM Comments (0)

NRL referees boss Bill Harrigan has praised Jared Maxwell's performance in Saturday's controversial clash between Penrith and Parramatta.

With only a second to go in regulation time, the Eels were caught in possession on the last tackle through Luke Burt, after he regathered a kick which had come off a Penrith player, but it wasn't ruled a chargedown.

Maxwell stopped the clock and ordered a changeover and Lachlan Coote scored a dramatic try after some brilliant footwork from Michael Jennings to send the game into golden point, with Luke Walsh kicking a field goal to win the game 23-22.

The decision denied Nathan Hindmarsh a victory in his 300th NRL game for the Eels, but Harrigan defended Maxwell saying the decision was "100 per cent correct".

"It was a rebound - not a charge down, so it's not played at and therefore the tackle count stays the same and doesn't restart so he called last tackle to him (Burt)," Harrigan told AAP.

"Luke Burt is tackled with the ball and gets up with the ball in his position, Ben Smith runs over to him and covers him up ... Smith then takes the ball and walks away.

"The referee then calls time off because it was depriving the Panthers of an opportunity - so, in other words, he was time-wasting and the referee will always stop the clock when that happens and, on this occasion, he got this decision right."

Harrigan said he was confident the same call would have been made by Maxwell at any stage of the game and applauded his bravery for doing so at such an important juncture in the game.

"He didn't have any idea how long was on the clock. He just saw that the Eels were depriving the other team of an opportunity and called time off straight away," he said.

"It was excellent refereeing. My instinct when I saw it at the time was 'what has he penalised him for?' because he had his arm out, but that was to indicate a changeover - not a penalty.

"We had to go through the debrief on the audio which we do on a Monday, before we can make any decisions or comment on these type of incidents.

"Having done that, it shows he was right ... you can hear him telling him it's last tackle and Burt has to leave the ball on the ground."

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