Manly and Canterbury have called for an overhaul of the NRL’s officiating systems following Friday night’s controversial encounter, believing a move towards a bunker system used in North American ice hockey could solve the issue.
The Sea Eagles were livid after several crucial calls went against them in the overtime loss, which was sealed when Trent Hodkinson kicked a long-range penalty goal. The decisive strike came after Glenn Stewart was penalised for a lifting tackle on Josh Reynolds, although there were suggestions the NSW utility milked the penalty. Hodkinson was given an easier shot at goal after the Sea Eagles were marched 10 metres for backchat.
Reynolds was involved in another contentious moment, in which he was awarded a try amid suggestions he planted the ball short of the line.
Manly chief executive David Perry said the club would contact the NRL to raise its concerns.
”We want clarification around that particular incident because we’re all a bit confused by the decision that was handed down,” Perry said. ”They are big momentum changers in the game and we felt it, it certainly hurt us.”
NRL football operations manager Nathan McGuirk and referees boss Daniel Anderson have flagged their intention to visit North America at the end of the season to study the National Hockey League’s ”war room”, a video review system away from stadiums. The ARL Commission wants to ascertain the feasibility of setting up its own bunker to review tries and on-field incidents.
”They need to be open to all options and if that’s a model that’s working they need to consider that in the first instance,” Perry said.
”There are so many people affected by these decisions and it’s important we get them right.
”The players are progressing and enhancing their skills year on year and it feels like more sophisticated reviewing systems that are internationally recognised and accepted are needed. That’s an area where we should be inquiring and making some potential investments.”
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler conceded Reynolds’ try was ”a little bit contentious” but had his own qualms about the refereeing systems in place. The dual premiership-winning mentor believes the on-field referees should be included in the video review process and believed lower penalty counts would contribute to a more flowing game.
He also said the bunker could provide longer-term solutions.
”I would like to still see the referee involved in the overall scheme of things until, maybe further down the track, there’s the idea of this very expensive bunker they have in NHL hockey,” Hasler told radio station Triple M. ”That’s something they have to work on in the off-season, I think. Otherwise we’ll keep having these discussions.”
While Hasler was relieved his team earned the two points, he believed it was unfair for a team that lost in extra time to leave empty handed.
”If you’re going to have a golden point, get both teams line up and they can fire for field goals. Have a shootout. That’s what it’s all about,” Hasler quipped.
”I’m being facetious, but at the moment it’s a field goal shootout.
”To me it would have been terrible for one of those sides to walk away with nothing. Someone has got to walk away with two points or one point or three points. If you get a draw in our game, you get a point.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.