Manly call for obstruction clarification
Manly players have called upon the NRL to provide clarification on the obstruction rule as the controversial law threatens to overshadow the upcoming final series.
Sea Eagles co-captain Jamie Lyon and prop Brent Kite have strongly backed coach Geoff Toovey’s call that uncertainty over the obstruction rule could cause mass confusion during the business end of the season.
“It is still confusing, you just don’t want games to be decided by something like that,” Lyon said.
“They have to come out and fix it and everybody has to come on board with it. People don’t know what an obstruction is and it probably goes back to the Origin one (Justin Hodges’ try in Origin III).
“Where it is not cut and dry something has to be done about it. Some seem to be penalised and some don’t.”
Kite joined Lyon in saying the awarding of the Hodges try, in which he clearly ran behind a fellow Queensland player before scoring, had spread confusion throughout the NRL ranks.
“It is pretty hard to understand,” Kite said.
“Like everyone else (I thought) the Origin try was just a blatant obstruction and it has muddied the waters a bit, we need some clarity and consistency.
“I’m pretty clear on what an obstruction is and isn’t, but the interpretation sometimes can be confusing. We are honestly just looking at the replays on the screen sometimes with fingers crossed because they can go either way.
“I think one of their indicators has been that lead runner is not going to have an affect upon the play. It seems a little too broad.
“That was the line given to justify the Hodges try in Origin. But it brings it all down to interpretation.
“Some clear indicators would be good.”
South Sydney coach Michael Maguire and Gold Coast mentor John Cartwright joined Toovey in expressing their displeasure with refereeing decisions over the weekend regarding obstructions.
But referees coach Bill Harrigan said the NRL would not be issuing any widespread edicts in regard to the rule four weeks out from the final series.
“I would be the first to admit that during the season we have made some incorrect decisions,” Harrigan said.
“People have to accept that like players and coaches, the referees are going to make mistakes.
“But because the rule is subjective there is always going to be disagreement in regard to it. It is not totally black and white. In one instance for example I have had one coach say to me ‘there is no way that is a try Billy’ while another coach did not have a problem with it.
“We laid out the guidelines at the start of the season for everyone – coaches, players, the media and they haven’t changed.
“And we the referees are working hard to ensure that we continue to follow those guidelines and try to get every decision correct.”© AAP 2013
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