Steve Ganson will resume his role as the Rugby Football League’s officials coach this week, with one of his own blunders the main talking point of Super League’s Magic Weekend.
Ganson, 43, retired as a high-profile on-field official two months ago to work directly under the new head of referees, Jon Sharp, but has kept his hand in on a match day as a video referee.
He may now regret doing so, though, for on Saturday he settled the Humberside derby by awarding a 78th-minute winning try to Hull FC’s Chris Green which should not have been.
Asked by on-field referee Ben Thaler to check if Green was offside, Ganson failed to notice that he was and gave Hull the try which handed them the win. Sharp was yesterday forced to admit that Ganson had been tracking the wrong man when watching numerous replays.
Sharp said his department was taking “accountability” for the error which Man of Steel Sam Tomkins described as the worst decision he had ever seen, although it remains to be seen if irate Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell will accept that as enough.
Hudgell, who spoke to Ganson via telephone, said the statement of apology issued by the RFL on Saturday night was “wholly inadequate” and accused the governing body of covering up its mistakes. He also made reference to the fact that Sharp is a former Hull FC player and coach.
“Legitimate criticism and debate is suppressed by a zealous desire to cover over incompetence, serious weaknesses and under performance,” he said.
“I have supporters who have again turned up in their numbers at great expense and who feel cheated, and a coach fighting for a new deal whose livelihood could stand or fall on these decisions.
“For all of them I need more than ‘sorry’ from an ex-Hull FC player, coach and vocal advocate down the years.
“It is empty and tokenistic and an insult to our fans. The clear impression is that ‘sorry’ is enough and all is forgotten come Tuesday when everyone goes back to work. They are baffled and mystified and need to know why the call was made, and what lessons will be learnt from it.”
Sharp answered Hudgell’s call by laying bare the bones of Ganson’s error.
“To use Steve’s words, and this is not verbatim, ‘I tracked the wrong player’,” said Sharp.