10 May 2009

Lockyer queries obstruction rule

6:55 am on 10 May 2009

The Australian rugby league skipper Darren Lockyer is the latest player to speak of his frustration over the implementation of the obstruction rule.

Lockyer was left scratching his head after seeing Kangaroos teammate Billy Slater denied what appeared a fair four-pointer in Friday night's Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.

While the decision had little bearing on the result as Australia ran away with a convincing 38-10 win over the Kiwis at Suncorp Stadium, Lockyer claimed players were being rewarded for making defensive blunders.

Slater crossed for what would have been his second try of the night midway through the second half following a slick second man play which saw Justin Hodges bump into Kiwis winger Manu 'The Beast' Vatuvei.

Vatuvei came off his line to take out Hodges - who he believed was going to get the ball - with Slater running into the exposed gap down the sideline.

Lockyer and his Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens both said they believed Vatuvei had made a defensive error and it was wrong that teams were rewarded for defensive errors.

Last week Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler vented his frustrations at the way the rule is being interpreted after fullback Jordan Tansey was denied a try in his side's win over Cronulla.

Fittler was slapped with a $10,000 breach notice by the NRL for his comments, the league claiming the Roosters mentor had attacked the credibility of referees by saying his side was scrutinised more than other sides when it came to obstruction plays.

The Roosters appear set to challenge the fine.