The Roar
The Roar


The Bunker is broken

(The Roar)
Roar Guru
25th April, 2016

When the NRL announced they would introduce a video bunker, it was greeted with much fanfare by players, officials and fans alike.

Millions of dollars worth of technology, 30 or more screens, 20 or more camera angles. So confident were the NRL with this new technology that they promised (rather foolishly) that there were would be a zero per cent error rate in the bunker.

They said that if an important call was missed, the bunker would pick it up and play would go back.

They said it would speed up the game. And two rounds into the season it looked like they were right.

Video referee decision times were considerably shorter. However, come Monday night, Round 3 at Brookvale Oval, the cracks started to appear and the honeymoon ended rather abruptly.

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan was the first to take aim at the bunker after several calls were made against the Sharks that probably should not have. Following that, the cracks deepened.

Calls in the following rounds took longer, and more and more mistakes were made. More league identities bagged the bunker.

The NRL came out and instead of promising improvements warned players and officials that anyone who said anything negative about the bunker would be fined $20,000.


Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson did well to not bag the bunker after some appalling decisions during the course of the match cost his side dearly, namely two incorrect penalty calls.

One was against Kane Evans, who was penalised for a late tackle despite clearly being perfectly legal.

This led to a penalty goal which was ultimately the final margin of the game. The second was 90 seconds from the end when Taane Milne was smashed by Dylan Napa and lost the ball.

The Roosters looked like they were going to score, only for the play to be called back for a penalty. There was no high tackle, the bunker had plenty of camera angles to view and made a mistake that probably cost the Roosters two competition points.

I just hope for the sake of the game the bunker starts getting quicker, more correct calls before the game is ruined completely.