Eels Blogs

Can't believe I'm agreeing with Paul Crawley!!!!


Raiders v Eels: 

They have enough technology in the NRL Bunker to launch a space shuttle. So why on earth don’t we allow the match officials to go to the Bunker for contentious forward pass calls that lead to potential tries?

As Brad Arthur said after the 19-0 loss to Canberra, the decision that went against the Eels midway through the first half that robbed them of a crucial try when the scores were at 0-0 was “a big call”.

“I don’t think it was forward,” Arthur said.

“That might have been nice if we had put the ball under the posts 6-0 after defending our line for 20 minutes.”

In the context of the match and potentially the Eels’ season, it was a huge moment.

Yet it wasn’t afforded a second look.

The replays suggested it wasn’t a forward pass.

Everyone understands the onfield refs have to make split second decisions and they are not going to get them all right.

But the NRL prides itself on having world-class technology yet we continue to fall back on the same outdated 20th century theory that replays cannot definitely rule on forward passes. It’s a joke.

At that point the possession split was 64-36 per cent in favour of Canberra and the Eels had defended 22 tackles to zero in their own quarter.

That call changed the match.

There is no way of knowing if it ultimately cost Parramatta victory but, as Arthur said, given their defensive workload early in the match it would have been a huge psychological boost.

Right now Arthur is fighting to save his job and there are 14 players at Parramatta chasing a new contract for next season. Livelihoods are at stake.

If the technology is available, why can’t it be used?

— Paul Crawley

You need to be a member of 1Eyed Eel to add comments!

Join 1Eyed Eel

Email me when people reply –


  • And the stupidity of it goes even further, I've seen the refs on numerous occassions ask the video ref to check if a ball has been knocked back from a kick etc. How the hell can a video ref determine if a ball is knocked backwards in that situation but not make a determination on a forward pass?? I saw a try in a Broncos game earlier this year where it was passed from 2 metres one side of the 20 metre line and caught 3 metres the other side, right in line with the ref, allowed as a try, yet they call that one back last night when it was clearly backwards. The inconsistencies are a disgrace.


  • Agreed. If cricket can have ball tracking to decide on LBW, there is absolutely no reason why the NRL can't at least track the tragectory of the ball. Just more poor management from the NRL.

    • Hawkeye is a technology that can't be used in the NRL. It needs to be stable, in a set position that doesn't move. Cricket allows that as the pitch doesn't move. We'd need a combination of something like a ball tracker in the ball that tracks the velocity and direction of the ball when it's passed so we can take into account the fact that if a player is running forward, the ball will float forward.

      • Yes but cricket needs that level of sophistication because they need to calculate where the ball might go. In rugby league we would only be looking at where the ball actually went. Should be able to do this on TV footage and determine the position of the ball based on set markers on the field. If you know where the cameras are and where the markers are, you can calculate exactly where the ball is at any given time. There are smart ways of doing this, it's just that the NRL have not implemented them.

        • Even in soccer, they have their goal-line technology, all the cameras are in a set position. I don't think you can have a moveable camera that will able to accurately track the path of the ball, combined with the position and speed the ball carrier is in when he releases it.

          The best option might be to use spider cam and position it directly over the head of the attacking side. That should give you a good view. Side on is the best, but the cameras aren't always directly in line.

          • Couldn’t they just have a GPS tracker in the ball and sync it’s movement with the video footage when a decision is under review. This conversation was had a few years back - Robert Lloyd where are you? You were asking about this as well.

            • The issue is the ball can travel forward it just needs to leave the hads backwards.   They have the technology on the players we could use this.  They could track the position and  speed of the ball-carrier and the postion of the receiver to determine the legitimacy of the pass.

              • You mean those GPS vests the players wear, this has all been discussed a while back. I have no idea why they can't use this sort of technology in regards to forward passes. You could ascertain the direction and velocity of the player carrying the ball and then the ball once thrown to determine whether or not the ball left the hands backwards.

                I guess all this needs to be done quickly for TV but surely this could all be done in this day and age.

                • Those GPS trackers are fine for players, but they're too big for the ball. They'd change the weight and the aerodynamics.

                  It needs to be a mix between the correct camera angles and GPS.

                  • That's a valid point but surely this is something that could be developed. Perhaps an opportunity for someone with the tech knowledge - patent pending.

This reply was deleted.

Social Blogs