In situations where the ball has jolted free, the video referees can now be called upon to decide on whether it was a genuine drop or an illegal strip. In other areas, the NRL has also moved to ensure the tightening of grapple tackle rules and the reduction of panel members decrease the odds of players beating charges at the judiciary.
Whistle blowers can now seek assistance from video referees, but time to review is kept to a minimum, as the NRL has imposed a maximum of two replays only to decide if a ball was stripped by a defender.
It is hoped the option of using video to decide stripping will deter players from deliberately raking the ball, but the NRL insists this is not aÂ ‘challenge system’ whereby referees react to requests from players or fans.
“It’s not a captain’s challenge, this is purely a matter for the referee to decide whether he wants to use it or not.
This looks to be a smart move by the NRL in time for seasons kick-off. So many times, teams have been hit hard by a wrong call when the referee simply cannot see a strip in certain instances. This move will keep things fair, yet still ensure the game is a fast one – with only 2 replays allowed in each situation.