Ex-Super League referee has say on potential penalty try and calls for video referee change

Since St Helens booked their place in a fourth consecutive Grand Final where they’ll meet Leeds Rhinos there has been plenty of discussion about some of the key moments within their semi-final win.

The Saints progressed at the expense of the in form Salford Red Devils who could count themselves unlucky not just as they were well in the the battle but a few things certainly didn’t go their way such as the loss of Andy Ackers to a HIA within 2 minutes of kick-off as well as a potential penalty try being denied by referee Chris Kendall.

The incident happened late in the game when the Red Devils trailed 19-12. A Marc Sneyd grubber kick invited Tim Lafai to chase who looked like he could go on to score before he was held back by Tommy Makinson.

The winger was subsequently sent to the sin bin but only a penalty was rewarded leaving Salford still seven points behind. That would remain the difference between the two teams.

It was a decision that sparked much debate with plenty of fans believing it warranted a penalty try. However, a former Super League referee believes Kendall made the right decision but should have consulted the video referee to make sure.

The former official in question is Richard Silverwood who took charge of the 2012 Grand Final when Leeds – who are looking to beat St Helens to claim a ninth Super League title – last won the trophy from fifth.

He took to Twitter to give his views on the incident when called upon by others.

He said: “Crikey. That is a tough one. Referee would have to have enough thought he would get to that ball. Gobsmacked he hasn’t checked it.

“Personally I don’t think he is getting there or certainly I have too much doubt.”

This led to the question of whether the video referee should be present at every game and Silverwood believes this is a change the sport should make:

Of course such a change would not have impacted the situation with Kendall not needing a second opinion on the incident.

Salford fans may still feel hard done by but it is the Saints who go marching in to a fourth consecutive Grand Final.

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