BILL Harrigan's great strength as a referee is his weakness as the referee's boss.
He won't be bullied - no matter how far in the wrong he is. If that's the case, though, which it most certainly is, then maybe it is fast becoming time for somebody to make Bill's mind up for him.
As in Adios, amigo!
Harrigan faced the media yesterday to put us all straight about the misinformation over Greg Inglis's try, whether it was or it wasn't, whether he said it was or said it wasn't, whether he spoke to NSW coach Ricky Stuart or he didn't.
Initially he denied Stuart's claims that the Blues had been told he said it wasn't a try by saying he hadn't spoken to Stuart, which he hadn't.
Only problem was, if you read Stuart's quotes closely he did not say he spoke to him, but a member of his staff had.
So Harrigan later confirmed he spoke to assistant coach Trent Barrett, but then denied Barrett's version that he said it was not a try.
Barrett insists he is right, Bill does, too.
Make up your own mind.
So now we get to a stupid rule where a man can lose a ball and still be a tryscorer.
Unfortunately, continual tinkering with the rules over the years means the knock-on rule has become such a dog's breakfast that, under the wording of the rule book, it was actually a try.
This is just embarrassing for the game.
"It comes off the forearm of Greg Inglis but that's a rebound, not a knock on," Harrigan said.
Harrigan declared Robbie Farah had dislodged the ball, meaning it was still live, and thereby legal for Inglis to have a second grab to touch down.
The problem with that rule interpretation, keen readers will note, is that it can be interpreted two ways.
Harrigan said the ball was a "rebound" because Greg Inglis wasn't playing at it.
What was the forearm doing then, stretched out in front of him? What was he doing there except going for the ball?
He momentarily lost it, and the ball bounced towards his arm, but his arms were outstretched to carry the ball. The arms weren't there to do anything but carry the ball.
The bigger problem, though, is this rule illustrates how much rugby league has lost its way and how the constant tinkering in the rulebook by people who don't really know the game is making it worse, not better.
NRL boss David Gallop should grab Harrigan by the ear and drag him into any pub to see how the real people reacted to that decision to see how far they have drifted off course. To solve one flaw in interpretation they come up with another subpar under a clause under a rule, to explain the mess already contained therein.
The game should be made simpler, it should not be made more complex.
There were groans from Blues fans and Can you believe it? whoops from Queensland fans on Wednesday.
The interpretation offered by the referees yesterday could have been adapted to justify whatever decision the referee made.
He knocked it on: "It came off his forearm."
He didn't knock it on: "He wasn't playing at it."
Perfect hindsight, once again from a game losing its way, from a head office with no idea.