Benji's 'Kick' - Harrigan's Verdict

<big>Official View: Refs got Benji try verdict right</big>
Bill Harrigan - NRL.com
Each week referees co-coaches Stuart Raper and Bill Harrigan answer your most frequently asked questions. This week Harrigan looks at the controversial try awarded to Benji Marshall and why Jharal Yow Yeh’s try against the Warriors was disallowed.


…Were you happy with the decision to award Benji Marshall a try after it appeared he had dropped it in the lead up play against St George Illawarra on Friday night at ANZ Stadium?

The decision by video referee Russell Smith was correct. Benji Marshall deliberately dropped the ball in the motion of kicking and while it undoubtedly went wrong, the ball touched his foot so it is deemed a kick. The ball then bounced up to Beau Scott who juggled it, and Benji took the ball off him and went on to score.

Marshall hadn’t lost control of the ball and then tried to kick it; that would be a knock-on. He deliberately set out to put in a kick, and while it was unconventional, he still got his foot to the ball and thus it was legal.

I’m happy with that. The whole thing revolved around his intention to drop the ball for a kick. I’m not quoting straight from the rule book but it’s my understanding that if you intentionally drop the ball in an attempt to kick, it doesn’t matter if it touches the foot or the ground first. This rule distinguishes an intentional dropkick from an accidental knock-on that someone gets subsequently gets a foot on.

In saying that, I bet if it was Soward who scored that try, I wouldn’t be forgiving the refs in a hurry! It was unconventional to say the least!

I can’t see what all the contraversy is all about Whether he kicked it 60 metres or 60 millimetres his foot still made contact with the ball
The amount of people i have spoken to who thought it wasn’t a try astounds me

It’s just because it looked ugly.

If the losing coach and losing captain both think he kicked it and it was a try, that will do me.

@jirskyr:

It’s just because it looked ugly.

If the losing coach and losing captain both think he kicked it and it was a try, that will do me.

Looked BEAUTIFUL to me Jirskyr But maybe I’m a little biased 😃

I’m happy to accept the points, but put it this way, if i was a dragons fan i wouldn’t be to happy

@dermo:

I’m happy to accept the points, but put it this way, if i was a dragons fan i wouldn’t be to happy

If you wouldnt be happy would it be because of the ruling? Why?

Harrigan’s explanation is black and white. It is exactly how it happened.

From what I can tell the anti-try argument is basically trying to find a reason to disallow it because it’s not ‘fair’ to benefit from a c**k-up like that. The fundamental problem with that is that life ain’t fair: how many times do you see a bad pass almost intercepted or a poor grubber ricochet off a defender, with the only outcome being six more tackles to an attacking team which doesn’t deserve them? I’d be gutted if that try had been scored against us but at this stage I’d be lamenting our terrible luck, not a terrible decision.

All the hype surrounding the scuffed kick (in which he 100% gets his foot to the ball AS it bounces) when nobody is discussing one of the cleanest, most amazing sidesteps I have ever seen….Darius Boyd didnt get within 2 metres of Benji! i could watch that step a million times over and still be amazed…

I reckon id be upset if it went against us! but by the letter of the law it is a try.

There has been a few in recent times that have been allowed, and wish they weren’t, tiger love aside, I think Benji’s try fits that bill, technically a try, but “not in the spirit” of the rules.

The one’s that ive seen recently that i hate, passes into someones head through the line for a try

@Goose:

I reckon id be upset if it went against us! but by the letter of the law it is a try.

There has been a few in recent times that have been allowed, and wish they weren’t, tiger love aside, I think Benji’s try fits that bill, technically a try, but “not in the spirit” of the rules.

The one’s that ive seen recently that i hate, passes into someones head through the line for a try

Agree, didn’t the dogs score one on us recently where it hit A Ryans head or something like that…… Also A Ryan was on the footy show on Sunday and I think he said it should have been a no try. IMO a great piece of work from Marshall I think he may have practiced it during the week at training lol!

I think the issue revolves around the following two arguments against:

A) He never touched the ball with the foot; or
B) The ball hit the ground first, making it a knock on.

After watching the replays, they are both fair arguments, because not many people could quote the rule re drop kicks with confidence without having to go back and read it - and there was really only one camera angle that indicated the ball ever hit his foot.

I was blowing up listening to Triple M on Saturday morning, with Ray Warren going on and on about how it shouldn’t have been a try. He got the rule book out and started quoting all these rules which had nothing to do with the incident, like saying that a legal kick was with any part of the leg below the knee except the heel. I don’t think anyone in their right mind was suggesting it came off Benji’s heel. Then he was agreeing with idiots ringing in saying you can’t kick the ball after it bounces, like as if the ball had already bounced a foot in the air. The ball hit Benji’s foot either before it bounced, as it bounced or just after it bounced. In other words, the worst you could say about it was that it was a drop kick.

it was a fair try. those saying otherwise dont know the rules

As long as it got us four points which led to six…does it really matter?? :slight_smile:

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