NRL sack the wrong touch judge after forward pass fiasco in Auckland

BY CURTIS WOODWARD

@woodward_curtis

The NRL has taken action against the referee and touch judge that missed the forward pass in Auckland last Friday that led to Cronulla’s late win over the New Zealand Warriors.

It cost the Warriors two premiership points.

“The referee and touch judge at the centre of the controversial decision to award Cronulla the match-winning try against the Warriors last week have been held accountable for the call,” an article on NRL.com read.

“Referee Adam Gee has been demoted to assistant referee, while touch judge Tim Roby hasn’t been given a match this weekend following the forward pass from Ricky Leutele to Edrick Lee that went unnoticed.”

There’s only one minor issue.

According to rugby league’s greatest ever referee Bill Harrigan, the NRL has sacked the wrong touch judge.

“If the ball is coming towards them and it’s getting close to the line then it’s their job to watch the line. It’s up to the touch judge on the far side to help them and make a call,” Harrigan told the81stminute.com yesterday.

“But in saying that the responsibility still lies with the referee.

“It’s his job to pick up the forward pass. Even though it’s difficult, it’s his job to get himself into an area where he can pick the forward pass.”

For the record, the touch judge on the other side of the field was Chris Butler.

It’s a frustrating situation for the Warriors and their fans. A win last weekend would have moved them to equal second with South Sydney and two points clear of Melbourne and Penrith.

@woodward_curtis

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1 thought on “NRL sack the wrong touch judge after forward pass fiasco in Auckland

  1. Aren’t the NRL Referees Association opening a can of worms here? Who’s going to be sacked for the blatant forward pass in Origin I? Will the Video ref from the Souths/Cowboys match be demoted for the incorrect call in the Gagai No Try.

    Let’s face it. If they start grounded officials for forward passes there won’t be any officials for the following week. The forward pass is a blight on the game and has been allowed to go unchecked for far to long, but it’s been promoted by the likes of the 9 commentary team who laud the great tries, created from forward passes.

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