Rugby League - Sharp: Row down to Ganson error

Jon Sharp, the Rugby Football League's head of match officials, has admitted the refereeing controversy that has overshadowed the Magic Weekend was down to a case of mistaken identity.

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Steve Ganson, centre, admits he was wrong to award Hull's 77th-minute try

Hull KR owner Neil Hudgell called on the RFL to provide further information about video referee Steve Ganson's decision to incorrectly award Hull a 77th-minute try which earned them a 22-16 victory. When asked by referee Ben Thaler to review the try, Ganson should have seen Green was in an offside position. He failed to do so and gave the score.

Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock called the incident "a tragedy" and his chairman described a Rugby Football League apology as "wholly inadequate". Hudgell went on to ask for further explanations to be given and Sharp has obliged, saying that when asked to look at the score, Ganson simply picked out the wrong player.

"To use Steve's word, and this is not verbatim, 'I tracked the wrong player'," said Sharp. "Steve had picked out a particular player and tracked him, thought he was onside, but ultimately the player was in front of the one he'd tracked. After that there was no going back and Steve is beating himself up. He's down in the dumps."

Hudgell was visibly angry in the post-match press conference and spoke to Ganson shortly afterwards, with the 43-year-old offering his apologies and Hudgell thanking him for his honesty.

"When Steve came in last night he said 'I've made a mistake, I got the call wrong'," Sharp added. "He explained his rationale and was honest. He was distraught for the department, the game and himself.

"Steve spoke directly to Neil Hudgell and explained his thoughts and the decision and Neil was outstanding in his response. I would like to thank the Hull KR club."

Ganson was due to be back on video duty for Sunday night's clash between Leeds and Wigan but has since been stood down. Sharp has not ruled out Ganson getting behind the screens again but feels it is in his best interests to take a step back.

"There are consequences as we expect high standards," said Sharp. "We decided as a department that Steve should be taken out of tonight's game.

"In the future we're not saying Steve won't be a video referee again, but Steve doesn't need that pressure right now."

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