Bentham and Ganson address fan concerns

Former referees Phil Bentham and Steve Ganson have addressed fan concerns regarding the new play-the-ball definitions.

The RFL released the new definition on Tuesday, and there was concerns about the way it was going to be policed.

Ganson said: There was a lot of debate that went into it. Part of it is, that its a genuine attempt to play-the-ball. So the onus is one the ball carrier to make a genuine attempt to play the ball.

“There has been a lot of work done with clubs and coaches, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Its not a case of you must play the ball and if you miss it by an inch, you’ll get penalised.

“There’s a way to play the ball, so if you make a genuine attempt to play it, then there shouldn’t be a spate a penalties.

“Don’t think this is one of these incidents where the referees are saying were going to have a clampdown now and were going to do four weeks of it and that’s the end of it.

“This is what the law committee wanted, which consists of people from various areas from the sport. We are listening to what spectators and the media are saying about the game.

“In terms of these rulings its not about ‘we’ve got you and now were going to do something’ its about what we want the game to look like.

“We don’t want players that just place their hands all over the ball and slow the ruck down. The clubs are fully aware of this is up to them. They have a big a part in this as the referees. Were all in this together.”

Bentham added: I’m sure you can picture the play-the-ball’s where the player is off balance, and hasn’t quite got control of what their doing.

“So that stability is what we’re bringing in. They’ve got to have balance, they’ve got to have control and they’ve got to have some stability when they’re playing the ball. Rather than just putting it and diving over the top of it. That’s what we’re looking for.

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