> win on Sunday. They played superbly and our second half defence
> was abysmal.), the try scored by St Helens late in the second
> half following an excellent break and chase resulted in the St
> Helens player being tackled about two metres from the try line,
> momentum carried him forward about another 1.5 metres where he
> appeared to come to a complete stop (from my vantage point on
> the terrace level with the try line), he then managed to move
> forward to place the ball over the line and the try was
> awarded. A case for the video replay? Any Saints fans who saw
> this from behind the sticks have any opinions?
and it looked to me to be a fair try, however I would also say in
Cas defense that the back hand pass from Newlove which put
Sully away was forward.
As for video replays, to quote a famous CCR song "I see a bad moon
arising!!!". I assume the RFL will implement a system along similar
lines to the ones used in the NFL or recent cricket matches where
the referee or umpire when a position of doubt will call for the assistance
of the men in the video boxes.
Before we can even consider adopting a similar practice in RL there are a
few things that we will need to consider.
At which games will the system be employed, globally throughout all the
divisions? Superleague games? Or just matches which are televised live by
Sky or the BBC.
Even if the RFL only adopts the system in SL games one major problem rears
its head instantly:- Cost
To put two TV cameras (the minimium IMO) centrally behind the goal posts
at either end of the ground represents a financial and logistical nightmare.
1 Cameras dont come cheap, maybe somebody who is in the broadcast business
could enlighten us as to how much each one costs
2 Some sort of structure would have to be erected in order to house these cameras
and prevent them from being damaged by mindless yobbos hurling chips and beer
3 Trained cameraman will have to be paid to operate these pieces of equipment.
4 An area would have to be set aside for some pretty serious video editing equipment
so that the images coming in from the cameras can be played back rapidly and with
a great deal of clarity.
5 As with point two a trained operator would have to be employed to manage this system.
6 In the event of a system failure I would imagine a qualified engineer would have to
be present at all times when the cameras are in operation - again this bloke will want
7 An independant adjudicator would have to be employed so as to make an unbiased
decision as to what the result of the replay was, the obvious choice would be the
reserve ref, but what happens if the match ref gets injured?
Looking briefly at the points made above its plain to see that the initial outlay
could run into tens of thousands of pounds - the brunt of these costs would IMO
have to be carried by the clubs themselves.
Can clubs around the league afford to shell out this sort of cash.
From these points lets apply the system I have outlined to the incident you mentioned
involving Anthony Sullivan, leaving the double movement issue to one side, what if
the Ref had half spotted the forward pass that I saw coming from Paul Newlove.
He contacts the replay officials asks for confirmation of the legitimacy of the pass,
the officials consult their equipment and whooops what do you know they cant give
a decision because the cameras were not in line with the incident, after two minutes in which
no action has took place on the pitch the ref gets a message from the box telling him
that no decision can be made, what does he do then, toss a coin??
Going back to the alleged double movement what happens if somehow the cameras vision
was obscured by players standing infront of the incident?
Pretty soon there is a need for more cameras, more operators, etc. etc.
Finally we come down to IMO the fundamental problem concerning video replays.
Ultimately it will be the Refs decision to call upon the services of the replay officials,
and his decision will always be subject to error.
We only need to look at the recent Cricket tour of South Africa to see where the entire
system falls down, anyone remember some of those English and SA batsmen who were
given out (or not given out) when it was plain to see by the replay that the decision should
have been the other way around, if the Ref or umpire doesnt call for a replay theres ***
all you can do about it.
Look at American Football, the NFL can afford the best replay technology in the world
but there is a huge division of opinion within the sport as to whether replays are
effective or not.
Finally anybody remember the Hansie Cronje incident?
Imagine this scenario - Your side have battled their way into the Cup final and your playing
the pies, your a man down, a point down, your struggling to get away from your own try line
and theres 30 seconds left, things arent looking too good.
Suddenly your wingman hands off Offiah, puts him flat on his arse and sets off on a
ninety yard sprint for the line, Henry Paul comes across but your man puts a dazzling
move on him and leaves the***y bastard for dead, hes over the half way line, hes over
the the 25.
Oh no! Connolly has got back hes trying to bring your man down but hes still going
forward, 10 yards, five yards, three yards, HES SCORED the refs pointing to the spot
youve won the cup, the vermin have been defeated, your giving the old two fingered salute
to the other end of the ground, Ray French has had a heart attack, its a great day for
But wait a minute, whats this, Shaun Edwards is talking to the ref, hes pointing at Offiah
who is lying on the ground flat out (as usual), Jack Robinson has jumped from his seat
and has run over to the ref pointing to the video box, his hand laden with a wad of cash.
The ref under pressure decides to break every rule in the book to suspend the score and calls
for the replay, lo and behold your man didnt hand Offiah off, he used his fist, the Ref
disallows the try and your dreams go up in smoke, suddenly all hell breaks loose Wembley
is torn to pieces as your speccies go on the rampage.
Two weeks later Edwards and Robinson are called up before the RL disciplinary board for
influencing a refs decision, the usual punishment is a hefty suspension and fine, but
amazingly Robinson is asked to cough up 200 and Edwards gets a 20 minute ban from his
next game - this includes the half time break.
A day later they both win their appeals and get off scot free, meanwhile in a bout of
depression you have slashed your wrists and you are residing in the nearest cemetery.
Still fancy video replays?
Geff Foster |takes care
St. Helens, Merseyside |of it's own"