I was scrolling through social media yesterday when I came across the Super League official account sharing the clip of Jamie Shaul’s well taken try against Castleford on Saturday.
Nothing new here, they do this regularly and it works well in promoting our great game, but when I read the comments it made me look again at the clip as some were mentioning the obstruction in the build up, involving the dummy runner, which left the gap for the Airlie Birds full back to go through.
For me it was a poor defensive read not obstruction but I accept if it was on Sky there’s every chance it would have been disallowed. Herein lies the problem, the game wasn’t on Sky.
In this digital age it seems crazy now that games on TV are refereed differently to non televised games. How often do you see tries disallowed for obstruction in non televised games? Not very often, in fact most of the tries go up as tries to the video ref only to be overruled and the try chalked off. This means they would have been given if Sky had chosen to go somewhere else.
We can’t be having this level of inconsistency, for me we should have 2 choices, either scrap the VR altogether or implement in all 6 Super League games over the weekend. Yes it would be expensive, but surely that is a price worth paying so everyone is on a level playing field.
It seems teams are using different attacking structures in televised games to minimise the chance of the try being chalked off and worse still has led to the practice of defenders deliberately colliding with the dummy runner in the knowledge the referees will go to the screen and there is every chance obstruction will be called, so they will get the penalty, this happens on too many occasions and it’s letting defensive players off the hook when in fact they are guilty of a poor defensive read.
Referees are always going to make mistakes and video replays are a good way of giving them that extra help but it has to be across the board for me. All or none.
I’d go for all games, whilst I do have reservations over the length of TV games due to refs going upstairs anything that helps us to the right decisions should be encouraged. Catalans for instance have this benefit for all their home games given they are all live on TV, other clubs should be afforded the same