Should we keep giving video referees the benefit of the doubt?
The video referees are too far away from the action. Perched up in a box making technical, clinical and cold decisions, in reality, they have never been further away.
Fans, coaches, and even some players are getting disenchanted and it seems to be only getting worse week after week.
In addition, they rarely seem accountable for their decisions. Tries are being awarded that haven’t been for 100 years, while others denied when they’ve always been given.
The tries in Origin need no rehashing and we saw another case of it on Monday night with Wade Graham being denied for a millimetre of supposed “separation” (even though there was a blur between the hand and ball which may indicate there was no separation at all).
And at the end of the day, for people that have watched the game, that has always, always been a try.
What is the problem here? Where did all this stem from?
There isn’t a clearer example than the Graham case of why the benefit of the doubt rule was brought in. Yet, it wasn’t used. This is a rare case however, most of the time the ‘benefit of the doubt’ ruling is over-used, too much liberty is taken, and referees are finding excuses to award tries.
This is all seen as part of the ‘good of the game’ and to make the game more exciting. But all of us that have watched the NRL for some time know that high scoring rugby league is not necessarily good rugby league. Or necessarily more exciting.
So why was benefit of the doubt created to begin with?
All people want is consistency. The only way to restore this is to remove benefit of the doubt going to the attacking team. Either prove you’ve scored, or the try should not be allowed. That is the only way I can see common-sense being restored to video referee decisions.
Think about it: there would have been less drama if the Inglis try wasn’t given (it has been a knock on for ever) and also with the Hodges try, as it has been a shepherd forever.
So I propose a change, benefit of the doubt should go to the defending team. If the video referee is unsighted, it should be sent back as refs call. Plain and simple. If something isn’t broke don’t fix it, if it is, do. Most people would agree that all is not well with the video referee system as it is right now and it needs some changes.