He is one of the most astute NRL minds in terms of refereeing, and referees coach Bill Harrigan has issued a stern warning to all NRL referees – stating that if they fail to consistently enforce the 10m rule, referees will see themselves sacked.Â
It is a move that Harrigan is stamping down on, in an attempt to prevent the negative football, with Harrigan telling all referees to crack down on any player who is offside in defence.
“Our focus has to be the 10m and stopping players jumping out of the line early,” Harrigan said last night.
“Any of the referees who don’t police it properly will be refereeing reserve grade next week.”
The move comes after Knights coach Wayne Bennett was critical at the inconsistency, when it came to the 10m ruling, during his side’s loss to the Dragons last week.
“Wayne had reason to be a bit critical,” Harrigan said.
“We watched the first 15 minutes of the game on Eagle Cam on Monday and we should have handled it better.”The refs have been reminded that they have to police it.”
The referees will not be the only ones to police it, with the video referee also being advised to help out, and enforce the rule.
“They have to jump in, even if it’s just a tip to say the outside backs need working on,” Harrigan said.
The offside crackdown will officially begin next weekend, once club football resumes.
“This goes back to when I was refereeing,” he said. “You’d do your homework and you’d know the usual suspects.
“Paul Langmack was one. He would hang around out in the centre area and he would always come back 8 1/2 m.
“I’d work on him early and say get back 10 or I’ll penalise you. That’s want I want our referees doing.”