Ankletapped’s View: Is one ref an improvement?

NRL Referee Ashley Klein

The first round of games with one referee is complete and there is plenty to talk about.

The six again rule has seen plenty of fast flowing footy which is what Project Apollo wanted.

I thought it was pretty inconsistent between games.

The first game was like watching touch footy with the speed.The second, Roosters v Rabbits game was only slightly faster than usual.

But overall, it seems like the six again rule did exactly what it was implemented to do.

I can only see it getting better over the coming months, provided the NRL is serious about getting consistency between games.

But what I really want to discuss is are we better off with only one referee?

Personally, I’m not convinced with this decision still.

It was clear that the referees and bunker have been instructed to make decisions as quickly as possibly and this limited the scrutiny on decisions.

But it only resulted in more errors, it’s just they are being disguised and forgotten about.

For instance, we see in the Souths v Easts game in the 10th minute of the game a ball bounce seemingly off the chest of Tedesco.

This is without the ball coming in contact with his arms which is then picked up and scored under the posts.

NRL Referee Matt Cecchin

Klein, obviously instructed to make decisions without using the bunker, ruled this a knock on and the Roosters were not awarded a try.

We then see in the Knights v Panthers game, the bunker incorrectly make a call after a captain’s challenge to award a penalty to Penrith.

This is after Edrick Lee “doesn’t give the Panthers player the opportunity to regather” his knock forward.

As well as Oates being punished in the back leading to a drop out, it makes you wonder whether fast decisions should be the objective or if we should strive for correct decisions.

I understand refs have to make a decision in the moment but all three of these instances had the opportunity to go up stairs (one of which did).

The aim is to get the correct decision but due to an attempt to speed up the game, they rushed the decisions.

NRL Referee Ben Cummins talking to Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans

All I’m saying, is Ben Cummins has been CRUCIFIED online for changing his decisions on a 6 again call in the grand final.

A call which had no option but to go upstairs for review and all of a sudden we are all happy to cop bad calls that could be reviewed?

I don’t think the general public would be happy with a momentum shift in the dying minutes of a grand final because the ref doesn’t want to review something to get the correct outcome.

We saw in the Tigers game, the ref call a turnover before the final tackle and we are all willing to cop decisions like that?

NRL Referee Gerard Sutton

I find that very unlikely.

I would rather see the game go back to two refs.

One just hanging out behind play to help make critical calls that are in the blind spot of the main ref.

Our objective should be the least amount of time to get the most accurate decisions and at the moment, I feel like we are prioritising speed in decisions way too highly.

NRL Referee Henry Perenara

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