Rugby League - Video ref Ganson apologises for Hull decision

Steve Ganson has apologised for settling the 219th Hull derby with a decision which was described by Man of Steel Sam Tomkins as "the worst I've ever seen".

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Rugby League - Video ref Ganson apologises for Hull decision
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Steve Ganson has apologised the Hull derby was settled by a controversial decision

Former referee and the current technical director and match officials coach Ganson, manning the video screens for the clash between Hull and Hull KR, deemed that Chris Green was not offside when he beat Greg Eden to a Danny Houghton kick and scored to give the former a dramatic 22-16 victory.

What Ganson failed to notice when asked by referee Ben Thaler, however, was that Green was in front of Houghton when the ball was kicked and, with the hooker not running past him in the chase, was never brought onside.

As a result the try should not have stood and the outcome may well have been a draw - there were two minutes left - although KR boss Craig Sandercock had set his sights on getting a winning one-pointer. And although Ganson did not put his name to a Rugby Football League statement, it was said via Jon Sharp, the head of the match officials, that he had made his apologies, with the governing body admitting an erroneous decision had been made.

Sharp said: "We have reviewed the decision and it is clear that Steve made the wrong call. Honesty and accountability are important to the Match Officials Department and we can only apologise for the error. Steve has been in contact with Hull Kingston Rovers and offered his apologies. He is one of the sport's most experienced officials and deeply regrets having got it wrong."

Ganson's apology at least gives Sandercock what he wanted, with the Australian one of a number of vocal dissenters in the aftermath. Wigan's Tomkins, the country's most high-profile player, got his point across on Twitter, while Leeds forward Ryan Bailey said Ganson should "stand down".

Sandercock was perhaps a little too emotional in calling it a tragedy, but was still entitled to be unhappy.

"We replayed it on our computer and I was giving instructions to go for a field goal (in the next set) as he (Green) was five metres offside. It's a tragedy and I will be disappointed if he doesn't come out and publicly apologise to our supporters and players," he said.

Sandercock would not have expected to get any sympathy from opposite number Peter Gentle and would have been right. The Australian complained about decisions that went against his men in the same fixture last season which Rovers won with a similarly-dramatic late show.

"It sort of squares it up for last year," he said. "You would need to talk to the referees. I'm not sure about the ruling, but we will take it."

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