Sport

Bill Harrigan is the best referee I have seen

IN CLOSE to half a century of watching rugby league - as both a fanatical fan and a working journalist - Bill Harrigan is the best referee I have seen.

His detractors will say he was a show pony, and others will accuse him of sometimes playing favourites.

There are those at the Broncos who still believe an 8-2 penalty count in the preliminary final against the Roosters in 2002 cost them a grand final berth.

But irrespective of what the punters thought, Harrigan could never be accused of shirking his responsibility.

He was a great referee because he backed his judgment.

When Bill Harrigan had the whistle, no-one doubted who was in charge.

To the detriment of the game, that philosophy has been lacking in even our best referees in recent years. They have resisted making the tough calls because they had the safety net of the video referee.

One now-retired leading referee made no secret of the fact that he was never going to be crucified for a wrong call when he had the man in the box to make the decision for him.

Under this system, modern-day referees had, in essence, become robotic. And so have cricket umpires, who now seem to refer almost every dismissal to the third umpire when they have not had the gumption to initially rule on a front-foot no ball.

But that indecision - in the NRL at least - is about to be nipped in the bud.

From next season, in relation to any try-scoring situation, referees have been directed to make on-field calls. If they have reservations they can refer their decision to the video referee, who may then overrule their verdict - but not until they have made their call first.

Under this direction, and with benefit of the doubt to the attacking team no longer part of the equation, referees are hopefully about to return to the pre-video ref days where they actually made a decision.

Effectively, the power of the video referee has been greatly diluted and fans in general will welcome that.

Referees are an integral party of rugby league. They are the key decision makers on the field and they need to reclaim the power that has gradually been eroded since the video referee came in to existence in the late 90s.

And hopefully the added confidence that comes with them making the crucial decision in try-scoring situations will flow on to other parts of the game. After all, this is their profession.

Sadly, Bill Harrigan won't be a part of the new refereeing regime, which is now under the control of former coach, Daniel Anderson. Harrigan was made the scapegoat for too many botched decisions last year - most by the video referee - and now his undoubted talents have been lost to the game.

With his feel for the game it's hoped Harrigan can still contribute somewhere, maybe in the video box or on the match review panel. In simple terms, rugby league cannot afford to lose Bill Harrigan.

Topics:  bill harrigan nrl magistrate refereeing



Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Top 6 infrastructure projects in the Tweed for 2017

The Gold Coast Airport is getting an upgrade.

Find out what's going in the Tweed.

Town convoy to get behind Black Rocks Men's Shed

BACKING: Black Rocks resident Matthew France (left), Pottsville Men's Shed president Michael Ryan and Tweed Councillor Reece Byrnes at the Black Rocks sports field where the councillor recently announced his support.

Convoy of support for new Black Rocks Men's Shed set for Pottsville.

Local Partners

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

WOULD you ever carry your baby and a semi-automatic gun to the shops?

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

New festival joins Quiksilver Pro party

Australian rockers the Rubens will headline the inaugural Cooly Beachfest at Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta on March 18

Cooly Beachfest 2017 officially takes off

Live music: Boogie on down this weekend

Moreland & Arbuckle will be playing the Currumbin Soundlounge on Friday from 8.30pm.

Gig Guide: What's on around Tweed (Feb 23 - 27)

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Top 6 infrastructure projects in the Tweed for 2017

The Gold Coast Airport is getting an upgrade.

Find out what's going in the Tweed.

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!