Off the Wall

It was inevitable that Bill Harrigan's dual role a referees coach and a video referee would bring him unstuck sooner or later.

And unstruck he has comprehensively become as a result of last night blunders when he was video referee in the Dragons - Sea Eagles match.

Harrigan has enormous influence in the game - you can tell by the way the leading referees perform...few penalties, and a generally lax approach to the 10 metre rule etc.

There is good and bad in all that. He wants the game to flow as much as possible, but the slack approach to the 10 metre rule can actually impede that outcome. And if it not applied equally by both referees then it is unfair.

The problem I have with Bill Harrigan is that he should not be the referees coach and a video referee as well.

Bill Harrigan was a good referee...in the top half dozen I have seen. He has generally been, along with Tim Mander, a competent video referee. Certainly streets ahead of Russell "Replay" Smith and a couple of other former referees who very ordinary conveyances in that role.

But last night he made a couple of blunders - one benefiting each side.

In the end they did not impact on the outcome, but that is not the point.

He has been stood down from video refereeing for an indeterminate period.

The NRL, not Robert Finch, should review the conflicts associated with his dual role.

And the NRL should put a watch on Russell "Replay" Smith - the time he takes to adjudicate has become an embarrassment.

And while they are at it they should give Jason Robinson a stint as a "sideline official" aka "touch judge"! He can do much less damage there.

The only problem with dropping Harrigan as a video referee is that his replacement will probably be worse!

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