Ben Thaler has earned himself a reputation as one of the leading referees in Super League.
He burst onto the scene with the whistle back in 2001 in the Championship, with Thaler then being promoted to a top flight referee in 2005.
Since then, the Yorkshireman has improved year on year, becoming a consistent figure in the RFL’s thinking in multiple seasons.
However, in the 2022 Super League season, Thaler has been absent with the whistle, instead being listed as reserve referee as well as video referee ye finally returned as the man in the middle in the top flight for Castleford Tigers’ fixture against Leeds Rhinos at the Magic Weekend.
It was a welcome return for the Normanton local who has refereed consistently in the Championship, impressing with his communication and confidence which did beg the question as to why he has had to wait so long to be given a Super League game?
Serious About Rugby League recently contacted the RFL to ask why that was, with a spokesperson stating: “he’s in the mix with the other full time (and part time) officials.”
That means that Thaler was just not being selected, though it has been curious as to why that is the case.
With that in mind and a solid performance at the weekend, it will likely spell a much longer time in Super League with the whistle for the rest of the 2022 season.
Meanwhile, Robert Hicks has been hitting the headlines for a video refereeing decision which ended up being the pivotal part in Hull KR’s loss to Hull FC in the final game last night.
Hicks disallowed Elliot Minchella’s ‘try’ due to a knock on from the former Bradford Bulls man with the official stating that there was separation between hand and ball.
Though the decision on the field was sent up as a try, Hicks overturned it, much to the surprise of the majority of viewers.