Huddersfield Giants winger Jodie Broughton has urged the sport’s referees to bring an end to the increasingly frustrating interpretation of the obstruction rule.
The England Knights wideman had a ‘try’ ruled out in the 70th minute as his side sought to clinch their 24-22 win at Leeds Rhinos on Thursday.
It came via a brilliant pass from Danny Brough, possibly the evening’s finest piece of skill.
However, it was denied for obstruction due to a dummy runner touching a Leeds defender in the line, regardless of the fact he had no chance of ever getting close to the Huddersfield stand-off.
With penalties for such an offence becoming increasingly prevalent, and well-worked tries being called back, Broughton admits it is annoying for everyone.
“It’s a bit sad,” he told The Yorkshire Post, after Huddersfield picked up their fifth win in six matches.
“I Tweeted about it in the Cas game last week. There’d been a couple of obstructions and they need to sort it out as I don’t think those or this impeded anyone.
“The letter of the law says if you run behind someone or stop a line it’s classed as obstruction but I think they should be all taken on their own merit; decide if it’s made an impact on the defence.
“But also it’s whether a defender’s milked it as some people did that last week when really they’d just made a wrong decision.
“It ruins the culture a bit as it’s encouraging – not cheating as such – but bad sportsmanship as you’re trying to play to get the penalty which rugby’s not really about. That’s more a football thing really.
“We don’t want it going that way. It’s an easy game played hard and we just need to address that.”
Ex-Leeds Academy product Broughton, 26, was not even supposed to play on Thursday when Giants held on, the hosts’ Tom Briscoe dramatically having a try disallowed after the final hooter.
“I’ve been struggling with ankle and groin injuries and was 18th man but Leroy Cudjoe fell ill so I got the call about 2 o’clock saying I’d better be ready,” he revealed. “I was still struggling a little bit. I wasn’t 100 per cent. My ankle was still a bit iffy, but I was glad to get through it with a win.
“I was a bit nervous with that decision at the end, to be honest, as I’ve never beaten Leeds before.
“They’re the club I grew up supporting and this first win has been a long time coming but I thought it’d all been thrown away.
“Luckily we did enough to get it but you just don’t know anymore with video decisions – both sets of fans were cheering at different points of that replay – so it was tough waiting for that ‘no try’ decision to finally come.”