Chester calls for “urgent” meeting with officials regarding obstruction rule

Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester has called for an urgent meeting between Super League coaches and match officials to fix up the confusion surrounding the obstruction rule.

The competition’s 12 coaches are due to meet next month for a regular briefing on issues in the game – which will inevitably include obstruction, given the controversy and lack of clarity concerning the ruling at present which has led to a whole host of current and former players express their concern.

But Chester wants that meeting to be brought forward – saying the sooner everyone is on the same page regarding the ruling, the better it will be for the game.

“We have a coaches meeting every so often – but probably not as often as what we should have, mind,” he said.

“The referees talk about the penalties, whether they’ve gone up or down and things they’re looking for. I had a good chat with Tim Sheens the day after the Castleford game, because I know they’ve had some tough calls in some of their games this year, including the derby against Hull FC.

“Tim agreed with me that we all need to sit down and discuss it for the good of the game.

“The next meeting is in a month’s time but it needs to be a bit sooner to be honest, especially with all the controversy around the obstruction rule at the minute.

“I haven’t got an issue with the referees or anything like that. You’ve just got to hope we get it sorted the next time we meet.”

Chester and Wakefield were involved in a high-profile incident concerning the obstruction rule recently, when a Max Jowitt try was disallowed at a pivotal stage of their recent defeat to Castleford.

And he admits he held talks with referees chief Steve Ganson in the aftermath.

“I spoke to Steve at length on Saturday, and we had a good, honest chat on the rule,” he said.

“I shared my thoughts and he’s given me his thoughts on it and he’s sent me some clips through of some similar ones that have been given.

“He gave a good explanation of it but until we all get sat around a table – coaches and referees, I’m talking here – then those kinds of decisions are going to keep happening.

“I thought it was a tough call on the night, but that’s just the interpretation of the rule. The sooner it gets sorted, the better. I don’t think there’s any blame on Robert Hicks or the video referee, it’s just what the rule states. The sooner we get it fixed up, the better it will be for everyone.”