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  1. Some serious BS occurred in that game. English refs and English bunker official for an England game. Too many mistakes and ridiculous decisions to mention. Hall lost the ball, no two ways about it. He lost it and did not regather the ball in time. He did not show control. The number of strips the English got away with was embarrassing. Seriously one sided referring and they should be ashamed considering England were playing one of the games minnows! Is this how we grow the game around the world? Show that biased decisions by officials will rob any team of a chance to compete with the top tier countries?

    Even the English commentator on 7 could not be impartial when asked about most decisions that were questionable. The game was a serious embarrassment and an injustice to Lebanon who were FANTASTIC and deserved better.

    • I’ll agree that it was probably the worst umpiring I’ve seen. It was just embarrassing.

      I’d also agree that Lebanon were on the wrong side of most of them, but the Poms copped some too.

      That said, I’ll put it down to terrible umpiring, and not a deliberate bias. The try, for example, I can see why they didn’t over turn it, but in fairness the bunker was trying to find an angle were they could over rule it, because it’s hard to contemplate he kept control / had downward pressure.

      I’ve been impressed by Lebanon, in both of their games.

      • mighty, Hall lost it from one hand and grounded it with the other. There have been countless examples have tries being disallowed in the NRL upon review because once lost the player has to show they have “re-grasped” the ball (is the word they have used). A player cannot lose the ball from one hand and place downward pressure with the other hand or the torso without first re-grasping the ball (showing control). It’s black and white mate… like MW47 CRT TV! 😉

        • Very good point SSTID.

          On that basis, yes there was sufficient evidence to over turn the ruling.

          SSTID, as much as it pains me (just kidding), you’re right. Good call.

    • That English commentator, I believe, was Adrian Morely, you know, that guy who played here for the Chooks for six years but only played the equivalent of five years because he was suspended for the equivalent of one year. WHAT WOULD HE KNOW ABOUT THE RULES?

  2. Your all WRONG ! AS LONG AS THE REFS CAN CLAIM “INTERPRETATION “ then they have done nothing wrong !
    I’ve always said the biggest turn off in RL is there are no rules just “interpretations “ and a guide !

    • There will always have to be some room for interpretations of the rules but I get your point and you are right. Referees and bunker officials seem to be lost at times when the former players in commentary and the majority of fans can clearly see what the ruling should be. Surely there needs to be work done both with the NRL official, the referees boss (whatever his official title is) and the rules themselves need to be looked at and more clearly defined in terms of the modern game. I have written before that over the off-season a committee should be formed of former players and referees to simplify and update the rules and DEFINE the boundaries for interpretation. IMO the committee could consist of Former players: Sterlo, Gould, Fittler, Johns, Daley, Meninga, Walters, Lockyer, Lewis, Parker. Coaches: Bellamy, Bennett, Madge and Hasler. Referees: Tony Archer, Shayne Hayne, Jared Maxwell and Bill Harrigan.

      First and foremost overhaul the stripping rule for goodness sake. Define a loose carry and a players obligations to hold onto possession! When a player is called held players should get no more than a 2 count to move their hands away from the ball unless they are locked in. When it is clearly evident that the player in possession of the ball is intentionally locking in the defender using their arm or their legs then penalise the player in possession! It’s called an offensive penalty and they have them in the NFL and NBA. Clear up the ruck, sort out scrums, stop blocking kick chasers (if players are already outside of 10 metres they were never going to contest the ball), stop players interfering with a player trying to catch the ball unless they are making a genuine effort to contest possession, clear up the ruck (players moving directly forwards and diagonally off the mark) and players lying in the ruck, introduce offensive penalties if a player is deemed to intentionally into a defensive player lying in the ruck in order to cynically gain a penalty when it is clear they had the opportunity to pass the ball. Reward one one one tackles around the legs and treat them as a surrender tackle which allows the defender more time in the tackle and to get to marker. Any other ideas?

        • I’m all for redefining the rules. By that, trying to redefine / simplify them where possible, but it’s a very fine line, and simplifying rules can, very often will, lead to either an opportunity to manipulate the rule, or further room for “interpretation”.

          Great idea having former players, coaches, umpires reviewing rules and trying to define them, I actually genuinely think that’s a good idea, but we’ve already got that to some extent anyway, in that coaches / club officials etc, and let’s call it “provide feedback”, now, and using practical examples. Using your list of names, as per above, and do you think they would all agree on 1 workable definition of any aspect of the game, that doesn’t already exist? I doubt it, so does majority rule, and if so, would that always be a step forward?

          My point is, I just don’t think it’s that simple, but just because it’s not simple, I’m not saying don’t try to improve it, and I’m all for making it a high priority to improve the rules where possible, but there’s no easy fix, nor can you make the rules “black and white”.

          Moving on to more specifics. It’s already “highly defined” within the rules, but umpires can miss strips, or be conned into ruling a strip when it wasn’t. We saw that, the “missed strip” a few times last night. What frustrated me in these occasions is whilst they were setting up,the scrum, we saw the video of a player/s stripping the ball, yet they still got the feed, because the on field umpire had determined a “loose carry”. It wouldn’t have slowed play in these cases for the bunker to notify the on field ref he got the call wrong, and we could have changed the call to a penalty. I’m not saying get the bunker more involved in every play, because that would be too slow / rediculas, nor even let them over ride every time there is a “stoppage”, because players will fake injuries etc in order to cause stoppages, but let them over rule when there is an on field stoppage, such as forming a scum, if the on field ref got the call wrong. It will help, and it’s pretty simple.

  3. “What frustrated me in these occasions is whilst they were setting up,the scrum, we saw the video of a player/s stripping the ball, yet they still got the feed”

    BINGO! WHY have a bunker if during a natural break in play they cannot overrule a wrong call? It undermines the game and the bunkers place in it. During a break down in play there is either a penalty, a tap or a scrum and this normally gives the bunker a chance to get it right.

    As for a committee all agreeing, well for mine the former players and coaches mentioned would almost unanimously be in agreement on most points. Referees should have less input into this but should be part of this process to a) put forward their perspective on how difficulties may arise in interpreting these rules on the field and b) to understand the thinking process from people who have played the game (which tends to include most supporters) in identifying misconceptions on the behalf of referees that the rest of us just see as common sense.

    Bear in mind the former players and coaches mentioned have a big say already through the media and the broadcasting of games. It is an embarrassment for the game therefore to have these former players who are now commentators publicly disagreeing with a decision and expressing a view that most fans are already thinking. It will help the game and those officiating it be on the same page as those playing, supporting and commenting on the game.

    One additional point… in so many instances the referee is NOT clearly in a position (from the angle they have available and also the speed of the game) to make a call on every single play. They should be afforded the opportunity to say “I was unsighted” or “I think THIS but I am not sure do you have a better angle”. Remove the stumbling block for the bunker who are not completely sure and have the onus placed on them to disprove the referees call when the referee is unsure or was unsighted in the first place!

    • O.K, the better use of the bunker, in very specific circumstances such that it can’t be routed, as per the example above, is genuine progress. Going through all aspects of the game in such a manner could only be a very positive thing for the game.

      If you want you committee to work effectively, you’d need to be very selective of who is in it and/or what power they have. Take Gus as an example. Unless you tear a players arm off during a tackle, causing him to drop,the ball, it’s a loose carry. I wouldn’t let him anywhere near that potential rule change, and there are other examples, that said, I like some of his more “old school” calls.

      My of my “old school” calls relates to on field ref’s. They used to make every call, no matter what. That meant making wrong calls, or missing things completely, but they ran the game. Now we have technology, and that’s great, we should use it, as per the example above, and for reviews etc. but I still want the on field refs to make every call first. We used to have no choice, now they can get an external opinion / clarification, so that improves their calls, but I don’t want them hiding from making a call. Not every decision, even with the video technology, can provide enough evidence to make a 100% call, so sending it upstairs, with an on field decision, effectively states that unless technology can disprove, conclusively, an on field decision, we are sticking with the “tradition” of refs (on field refs) running the game, as opposed to relying on cameramen to capture evidence.

  4. Why have the bunker ? It’s not like there assisted with anymore tech that what you or I have at home , how does the bunker define Offside such as the Walker try in semis against Penrith this year , what standard of measurement was used to overrule on field ref? Hence “interpretation “ there’s TO MANY COOKS SPOILING THE SAUCE LADS !!!

  5. Play the ball ! If you play the ball by definition you disadvantage your side because of the time it takes to play it correctly, the desire for a fast game has diluted the basic fundamentals of the sport , Tackling suffers , playing the ball suffers , it stinks

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