Give refs the remote, urges Barba
Amid another weekend of contentious refereeing decisions Brisbane Broncos fullback Ben Barba has urged the NRL to consider giving on-field officials more input into decisions made by the video referees.
Having broken his try-scoring duck for his new club in Brisbane's 32-6 win over Newcastle last Friday night, Barba conceded that he was nervous when it was referred to the video referee before it was awarded.
On that occasion the vision clearly showed winger Daniel Vidot staying airborne as he threw the ball back into the field of play but controversial calls in wins by the Sea Eagles and Raiders on the weekend dominated post-match discussion.
Barba himself could have been the victim of an incorrect decision a week earlier with some photographs showing Kevin Gordon in contact with the Brisbane No.1 as Aidan Sezer pinched the ball from his grasp to score the match-winner, which would have constituted two men in the tackle rather than a one-on-one steal.
In order to alleviate some of the uncertainty associated with decisions referred to the video referee, Barba would like to see a similar system adopted to what it is used in the NFL where it is the on-field officials who review the video evidence.
"Get their (the on-field referees') opinion as well and if they see something in the replay [they can make the call], not just what they're seeing upstairs," Barba said.
"I'd probably like the refs to make more of a decision if they see something rather than just leaving it all up to the video ref.
"If they send it up there and they see something on the replay and they think it should change then they should, rather than leaving it solely up to the video ref after it's sent up there.
"Maybe that's something they could look at, rather than just giving it to the video ref and not having any more say whatsoever, so maybe they could have more [input] if they see something as well."
As his side prepares for an Anzac Day blockbuster against the Rabbitohs on Friday night, Barba admitted that there is a level of confusion amongst the players about what does and doesn't constitute a try but insists it is how you handle such adversity that defines a season.
"I think it is [confusing] sometimes because as you've seen there have been some tries that have been taken away that are dead-set tries," said Barba, who scored a try, hand in two others and saved two with desperate defence in his finest outing as a Bronco to date last week.
"You never know these days what's going on so here at the Broncos we're just focusing on football and if [the referees] make mistakes, they make mistakes. No one's perfect so we'll just continue to keep playing footy and not worry about any of that stuff.
"I'm sure there are a few clubs that are a bit filthy at the referees but then again you can't change what has happened and you've got to move on or things will start going wrong for you.
"Lucky enough none of it has happened to us at the moment so we'll continue to keep just playing footy and hopefully nothing does."
Although he admitted that he "laired up a bit" after breaking his Bronco duck against the Knights, Barba conceded that it also came with a sense of relief and is hopeful it can unlock the type of form that took him to the Dally M Medal in 2012.
"It was a bit of a relief there at the game, I was pretty happy," he said.
"You could probably see it in the way I played, I was following everyone and trying my best and I was lucky enough that 'Reedy' (Broncos centre Jack Reed) saw me and gave it to me and I got it.
"It's a credit to the outside backs that are playing the game at the moment. They're so big, powerful and skilful and my job is just to back those guys up because the ball could pop up anywhere and I've got to make the most of it.
"Hopefully it does [free me up] and I can get a few more as the weeks go by."