Last Friday night’s controversial Canterbury obstruction try has prompted referees bosses Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper to bring forward a shock plan to have two video referees in the box at all NRL matches.
Originally considered for the 2013 season, the idea is instead being trialled in three games this weekend – Penrith v Gold Coast, Sydney Roosters v Wests Tigers and South Sydney v Parramatta.
“It’s something we were thinking of doing in the future, next year,” Raper confirmed to NRL.com today. “We want to make sure we cover all avenues… and obviously it’s not a bad way of training up possible future video referees.
“If we can make sure that we cover all aspects to get the decisions right, we’ll do whatever it takes.
“The video ref will still be the main video ref – but just in case he misses something, or to reassure what our checkpoints or guidelines are [he has back-up]. If something may have been missed we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Asked if the try wrongly awarded to Jonathan Wright last week was the catalyst for the move, Raper said: “It’s something we’ve been thinking about but it has probably been fast-tracked [as a result].”