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Video ref should have sent Inu: Harrigan

Former whistleblower Bill Harrigan says the decision not to send off Canterbury centre Krisnan Inu for an ugly spear tackle on Good Friday was the fault of the NRL video referees.
Video ref should have sent Inu: Harrigan
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, March 30 AAP - Former whistleblower Bill Harrigan says the decision not to send off Canterbury centre Krisnan Inu for an ugly spear tackle on Good Friday was the fault of the NRL video referees.

Inu was lucky to stay on the field after dumping South Sydney fullback Greg Inglis on his head in the Rabbitohs' 17-12 win.

Harrigan, who was sacked as referees boss at the end of last season, says he's never seen a more blatant send-off worthy spear tackle in his long career of NRL officiating.

However, Harrigan said it was unfair to blame on-field referees Shayne Hayne and Alan Shortall for not taking the tough action.

Instead, it should have been former NRL players Henry Perenara and Justin Morgan up in the video ref's box, instructing the men in the middle to give Inu his marching orders.

"The video referee who had that option or the opportunity to look at that tackle again on a number of different angles. It would have been his role," Harrigan, now a radio commentator, said on Triple M.

"They (video ref) can look at it and say, `mate, I've just seen that again. This is bad. This is a send off.'"

Canterbury forward Josh Jackson was also involved in the tackle, however didn't appear to contribute to the dangerous outcome which champion five-eighth Brad Fittler tweeted "could have been tragic".

But Harrigan said Jackson's mere presence would have put doubt in the mind of the referees, and that's why it was the video ref's job to intervene.

"When you get two people involved in the tackle it's hard to say which one was the cause of it because you have the pendulum effect," Harrigan said.

"But in that one, it was all Krisnan Inu. The video referee, if anyone was going to tip the referees to send him off, would have had to do that job."

The match-day officials might have acted tentatively, but Harrigan predicted the NRL judiciary won't miss Inu when they hand down their charges on Monday.

Last year Tony Williams, then playing for Manly, escaped being sent but was later banned for seven games for a similar dumping tackle on Cronulla's Isaac De Gois.

Inu did have an unlikely ally though in South Sydney forward Sam Burgess, who told Triple M's Dead Set Legends that Inu didn't necessarily deserve to get sent.

"It's rugby league, things happen," Burgess said.

"I thought it was a dangerous situation. Sending off, I don't know.

"To be honest, I didn't really care whether he got sent off or not ... it'll be resolved correctly off the field."


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