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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 19:59 GMT 20:59 UK
I was wrong, says referee Ganson
Referee Steve Ganson
Ganson's decision infuriated Bulls coach Steve McNamara
Referee Steve Ganson has admitted he made a mistake awarding Leeds Rhinos a match-winning try against Bradford in the final game of Millennium Magic.

Jordan Tansey's score helped give the Rhinos a 42-38 win, but the try should have been ruled out for offside.

"After reviewing the video footage from the game it is clear that I made the wrong decision," said Ganson.

Bradford chairman Peter Hood reacted by calling on Leeds to give up the points gained from the victory.

In a statement, Hood said: "The Leeds Rhinos club is justifiably a proud club, with a great tradition, and a club which above all values its reputation for right and fair dealing in everything it does.

"For these reasons I shall be inviting the Leeds Rhinos to do the right thing again now, for the benefit of their own reputation certainly, but also for the good of the great game of rugby league, to voluntarily hand over to Bradford Bulls what is, as the whole game now acknowledges, rightfully ours - the two points so cruelly taken from us by Mr Ganson's failure to act."

The response of Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington was to say: "It's an unusual request to be asked to consider.

"The Bulls will have another chance for two points on 29 June when the two teams meet at Carnegie Headingley."

Slow-motion replays indicated that Tansey was clearly offside as he chased captain Kevin Sinfield's penalty kick at goal, which rebounded off a post.

606: DEBATE
MV

But Ganson was unaware of any infringement and decided not to seek help from video referee Ashley Klein, allowing Tansey's last-gasp score to stand.

"In hindsight, I wish I had referred the decision to the video referee," added Ganson.

The decision upset Bradford coach Steve McNamara, who claimed his side had been "cheated" of victory and pointed the finger of blame firmly in the direction of the St Helens official.

I would now like to offer an unreserved apology to all those concerned, especially the players, officials and supporters of the Bradford Bulls

Steve Ganson

Explaining his decision not to go to the video referee for assistance, Ganson said: "At the time, my focus was on ensuring that the Bradford Bulls players were not putting off the kicker, rather than ensuring all the Leeds Rhinos players were onside.

"I didn't refer the decision to the video referee as both touch judges, who were stood behind the posts awaiting the conversion, had a good view of the grounding and I didn't feel the need to check for offside as it's very rare that players from the attacking side are in front of the kicker.

"However, the video footage shows that I was wrong not to do so as a number of Leeds players were offside.

"I would now like to offer an unreserved apology to all those concerned, especially the players, officials and supporters of the Bradford Bulls," he added.

He's big enough to accept he's made a mistake and was the first to hold his hands up this morning when we reviewed the video footage

Stuart Cummings on referee Steve Ganson

Ganson has received backing from Stuart Cummings, the Rugby Football League's match officials director.

"Steve is one of the most experienced officials in the game and is highly regarded around the world," said Cummings.

"He's big enough to accept he's made a mistake and was the first to hold his hands up this morning when we reviewed the video footage.

"At each rugby game there are three teams, two competing clubs and a team of match officials, all of whom are human beings who can make mistakes at any stage during the course of the game.

"Unfortunately some are more costly than others, and it is very regrettable that, in this case, it was so significant."

McNamara could also find himself in hot water for his fierce criticism of Ganson in the aftermath of the controversial finish.

The League are expected to study his comments on Tuesday and decide whether he is to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.



SEE ALSO
Bradford were cheated - McNamara
06 May 07 |  Rugby League
Bradford 38-42 Leeds
06 May 07 |  Rugby League
Millennium Magic day two as it happened
06 May 07 |  Rugby League
Millennium Magic photos
06 May 07 |  Rugby League


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