Ex-Super League officials disagree over controversial call

Catalans Dragons yesterday took an 16-8 lead at Headingley following a hugely controversial try.

After a superb offload in the middle of the field, the always dangerous Mitchell Pearce got the ball and dummied. He looked to squirm over the line but Leeds cover came across and hit the halfback as he went for the line with the halfback headed for the post pad.

Pearce looked short but got up and celebrated the try thus Liam Moore sent the decision up to the video referee having seen the ball touch the white of the try line.

Video referee Marcus Griffiths took his time to watch the try where to the fans at Headingley it seemed that Pearce had been stopped short.

However, Griffiths ruled that Pearce’s momentum had not stopped and that the ball had then got to the line with the try awarded.

Leeds fans weren’t happy.

However, former referee Ian Smith felt that it was a try.

He took to Twitter to say:

“It has to be a try because when the tackle was completed the ball was on the line so by definition it can’t be a double movement.

“The ball carrying arm hitting the floor doesn’t seem the tackle as complete, it’s only when the momentum of the tackle is stopped is the tackle complete and when that occurred the ball was on the line so a try was correctly awarded.”

However, fellow ex-official Richard Silverwood disagreed with Smith:

“I disagree with you Ian. It’s about the body position for me. His body stays before the line so the only way that ball gets on the line is by promoting the arm. If body ends up over line then try but it doesn’t so clear double movement for me.”

Smith replied:

“Wouldn’t be the first time we have disagreed on a decision mate, until the the tackle is complete a player can promote the ball, otherwise the tackle must stop on first contact with the ground, when this tackle stops the ball is on the try line.”

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