Look to Channel Nine to fix the video refereeing fiasco
There’s a very simple and built-in way to overcome the on-going howlers made by rugby league video refs: appoint the Channel Nine commentary team to do the job.
There’s no way Ray Warren, Peter Sterling, Phil Gould, Wally Lewis, Brad Fittler, Darren Lockyer and Andrew Johns could possibly make a mistake with slow-mo replays.
That’s if Channel Nine execs don’t knock the idea as placing too much extra pressure on the team that might affect their capacity to call.
That would be an unrealistic response. The commentary team watch exactly the same footage as the current video refs, and make comment en route on air, so why not give them the full bottle?
If seven is too unwieldy, make it Gould and Lewis to make the decisions. They are the among the best analysts of the code.
And to appease the Queenslanders who accuse NSW of running the game, Lewis takes care of that problem with New South Welshman Gould.
Rugby league footballers, coaches, fans, fringe-dwellers, and the media, have all had a gutful of the obviously wrong decisions that continue to rise.
Take Sean Hampstead as a prime example. He’s been demoted three times this season for decision howlers as a video ref. How many times must he be flicked to no longer have the job?
There are alternatives to the commentary team.
Referee boss Bill Harrigan and his side-kick Stuart Raper should have the job on Sunday. Harrigan was the best ref in both rugby codes since he made his first grade debut in 1986. After 392 first grade games, 10 grand finals, 21 Origins, and 25 Tests nobody is better qualified.
Still not sure what qualifications Raper has to be a refereeing guru. After a limited career as a player, and 127 games coaching Castleford and a short time coaching the Sharks.
But he is Harrigan’s 2IC, and that’s a good enough reason why he should be there assisting on Sunday.
Another alternative is make the most of former players like Max Krilich, and Gary Jack, to name just two of many possibilities, to be video refs.
They have the football nous to make the job work.
And it’s not difficult, just plain common sense and use of technology. It’s a simple process.
One fact for certain, any alternative is better than the current one.
But I still stick to my Channel Nine suggestion, all wrapped up in one neat and tidy parcel.
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