Both the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) use sideline television monitors to analyse close calls, and Bulldogs coach Des Hasler has called for the NRL to consider doing the same.
A former Australian NFL player in Colin Scotts agrees with Hasler’s proposal – which would mean that the on-field referees view the controversial decisions on monitors themselves, much like the NBA or the NFL, before making a decision.
Scotts, who played in the now-defunct/merged teams, the St Louis Cardinals and the Houston Oilers, described the incorrect video refereeing decisions in the Manly v Cowboys clash, as sickening.
“Somehow we’ve got to set up the vision on the sideline for the two referees to go and look at the vision themselves. Let them make the call,” Hasler said. “They’re exposed to it the most, they’re there in the moment, they do all the work during the week.
“That also removes all benefit of the doubt and it’s up to them. If they get it wrong, they get it wrong and we move on.
“The video ref should still be there for high shots and foul play but the refs should adjudicate on tries.
“You see it happening in the NFL and it works really well, we won’t waste any more time than what we’re doing at the moment with the normal video referee, and they’ve got a better feel for it.”
When Hasler was pressed on the matter, he said that the refs should not take the onus, but rather judge the matter.
Hasler said: “Not be accountable, but I want the referees to judge it.
“It is something I’d like to be explored. I have listened to all the debate and opinions and I think this is the way to go. It would work out much better and it would take all the pressure out of it.”
Scotts, who was just the second Australian to play in the NFL, was behind Hasler on the matter.
“Des is right on the money. The refs have a feel for the game so they should be making the judgement calls,” Scotts said.
“Some of the mistakes we are seeing make you sick in the stomach. They are sickening mistakes. Calls are being screwed up by the guys in the sky and we need to get it right. If it takes another few seconds to get it right, then so be it.”
When the end-of-season review takes place, the NRL Head of Football Operations in Nathan McGuirk, said that television technology would be discussed.
“We won’t dismiss anything,” he said.
“But our referees have such physical demands placed on them compared to the NFL. NRL refs run full pace for 80 minutes, kilometre after kilometre. The time issues could also create difficulties.”