17 hours ago - 3 Likes
Experiment ? What Experiment ?
THe National Rugby League's referee interchange experiment barely raised an eyebrow or a mutter at Campbelltown when it was video ref Mick Lewis who made the biggest call of the game between Wests Tigers and North Queensland.
Instead, it was the 67th minute no try ruling of Lewis on a potential game tying converted try to Tigers halfback Benji Marshall which generated the most post match discussion where the officials were concerned.
Wests had fought back from 20-6 to 20-14 when the pivotal moment of the match occurred in the 67th minute.
Marshall won the chase to a chip kick from five eighth Daniel Fitzhenry and beat two defenders with pace and an outrageous sidestep, only for Lewis to penalise him for being marginally in front of the kicker.
I really didn't notice anything and I thought they both did a good job, so I was happy with that. "It was a marginal call I suppose, but he adjudicated him being offside," said Sheens, who nominated it as the turning point as the Cowboys scored a try within 60 seconds.
Sheens said the principle of the interchange idea was good, but he wanted to look at a video replay before making a judgement on today's experiment as he was focussing on his teams performance during the game.
"I think the (10) metres got a bit skinny at times, I'm not blaming one or the other referee," Sheens said.
"But there were a couple of decisions from both referees I think that eventually I won't be happy with."
The Cowboys were equally unfussed by the experiment.
"I really didn't notice anything and I thought they both did a good job, so I was happy with that."
Sheens was more concerned about the Tigers tendency to fall away once a match seemed to be slipping away.
"You would like to think that it's not guys clocking off at the end of the season but it would appear if things don't go our way early then that's exactly what happens, it's something we will assess early next week," Sheens said.
Tigers captain and second rower Mark O'Neill said they weren't at their best defensively and could have lifted their intensity perhaps "10 per cent at crucial times" and conceded spectators might get the impression players were clocking off as Sheens suggested.
"I couldn't put my finger on any individuals, but I guess it must seem like that from the sidelines," O'Neill said.