Rather than rile against the verdict, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has instead empathised with referee Ashley Klein after being forced to make a call on a game-changing disallowed try in their 26-22 NRL loss to Parramatta.
In what looks set to add momentum to the NRL’s video referee bunker system introduction, Bellamy wondered why whistle blowers had to make calls on every try before sending it upstairs in the wake of his frustrating AAMI Park loss.
Storm winger Mahe Fonua was denied a potential match-winning, 79th minute try by the video referee on Klein’s recommendation.
Klein sent it upstairs with a “no try” call before it was officially given the thumbs down by video officials despite inconclusive replays.
“It was one of those things that could have gone either way,” Bellamy said.
“I just think it puts a lot of pressure on the referee to have to make a decision there.
“If he rules ‘try’ it’ll be a try (when it goes upstairs) and if he rules ‘no try’ then it’s no try.
“Sometimes referees are in no position to make a good decision.
“It seems the old benefit of doubt to the attacking side is gone, which is fine as long as they are consistent.”
The problem looks set to be solved by the bunker system’s introduction as early as next year.
The NRL is currently trialling the US-influenced system that is expected to be presented to the ARL Commission for consideration in August.
It could be introduced next season after initial trials reportedly indicated an improvement in decision-making.
“That rule where we make the referee make a decision – I’ve been saying for a few years that that shouldn’t happen,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy’s only complaint with the officials on the night, was not noticing winger Richard Kennar appear to stumble with suspected concussion ahead of Eels centre Ryan Morgan’s crunch 70th minute try and failing to stop the clock.
“We had a guy who got up, he staggered, he stumbled to the ground,” Bellamy said.
“Most of the time… they stop the game but it went on (for) four tackles.
“We either stop the game for everybody or we don’t stop it at all.
“We need to be more consistent.”
Bellamy could still not fault his young side’s fight after being over-run without their four Origin stars and prop Jordan McLean (hamstring) despite leading 12-0 early and 22-16 after 66 minutes.