Referees have a very important - and unforgiving - job to do on the field. They are thrust into the limelight for 80 minutes with every decision scrutinised - especially those fixtures broadcast on Sky where the commentators have the benefit of replays. Being a referee is a lonely job, but it is supposed to be made easier by the two linesmen running the touchline whom have the benefit of being side on to the play. This means that the linesmen should be able to spot forward passes and offside players far easier than the referee who is largely concentrating on the play-the-ball and attacking side.

But, time and time again, linesmen have let the man in the middle - and Rugby League - down with their incompetence.

St Helens v Hull FC

St Helens overcame Hull FC on Friday night in front of the Sky cameras, 26-12. Hull fans had been moaning all night about the refereeing performance of Robert Hicks, especially with regards to forward passes - whether at the game or on social media - and to be fair, some of Saints' passes looked dubious.

But, the biggest shocker of the night went in the Airlie Birds' favour when Jack Logan fed the ball inside to Albert Kelly after Jake Connor had pounced on a loose ball 14 minutes into the second half. The pass from Logan to Kelly went about six yards forward - it was clear to everyone in the stadium and everyone sat watching at home.

In fact, Sky commentator Eddie Hemmings actually sounded rather disgusted that the try was given, stating that the "ball went forward a mile".

Becoming an increasing problem

If it was so clear to everyone watching, why could the nearest linesman - barely a few yards away from the pass - not see it? Robert Hicks was about twenty metres back so the blame should not lie with him.

It is errors such as these which are infuriating fans and neutrals alike. For linesmen not to see - or choose not to call - a forward pass is criminal; refereeing is getting increasingly difficult with the amount of rules that need to be enforced, yet help from the linesmen appears to be getting more scarce.

It is all well and good pointing the finger at the referee, but the man in the middle needs eyes at the front, back and side of the head whilst on the field.

Essentially, linesmen are supposed to be the referee's eyes at the back and side of his head, but the referees are getting let down. Too many times linesmen have appeared too timid to make a call or raise their flag, which explains why a great deal of tries get sent to the video referee.

Often, you see a linesman standing back behind the corner flag as though they cannot make a firm decision on a supposed try. Because of this games are getting ruined; video referees seem to take an age over decisions in Super League and it is slowing the game down as a whole. Linesmen need to be more conclusive and help their referees out. The 'try' on Friday night was as embarrassing as they come for the sport and decisions are only going to get worse until those running the touchline pull their finger out.