Video referee bunker can work: Voss
Andrew Voss on the referee bunker plan, the best try of 2015, this weekend's Dragons-Bulldogs blockbuster and more.
Can the video referee bunker work?
Yes, but don't set your expectations on perfection.
As a matter of fact, think the approach of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi who said, "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence".
And in the context of rugby league, excellence must include greater consistency.
If the NRL can convince the fans of the above with a video referee bunker system, then let's go for it.
The data and feedback from the testing that has been conducted in recent rounds reads positive.
Keep an open mind folks, but know there will always be some elements of controversy.
So what do we do with video referrals?
Change the system we have now.
The greatest example of the guesswork that is involved in sending a decision "upstairs" with an opinion of try or no try was last Saturday night in Townsville in the match between the Cowboys and Manly.
The Tom Trbojevic runaway and last-ditch tackle from Michael Morgan was a sensational moment.
It is no criticism of referees or sideline officials that they were naturally well behind the play when the flying Trbojevic got to the corner.
I'll say this. Despite some cynical fans may think, there is not one NRL official who would have said "try" with a clear, on-the-spot view of the lunge and tackle.
It was a clear drop ball from some height above the ground. Not even close to being a try in terms of forcing the ball.
But the current system demands that all possible tries are referred to the video ref after an on-ground verdict.
This system is 'broke.' Go fix it.
On-ground officials must have the capacity to be able to say they actually didn't have sight of the critical moment.
If the video ref then can't prove it's a try, no four pointer should be awarded in my opinion.
Again, that won't be a perfect system, but it'll be closer to excellence than what we've got.
Did we see the try of the year in Canberra last Saturday?
Yes we did, although I've been lucky enough to also call the Pat Richards magic for a James Tedesco try back on Easter Monday… and that was something extra special!
What makes the Lachlan Maranta try after the half-time siren so dramatic for mine was the number of defenders a desperate Canberra managed to get back in cover, yet still the four-pointer was scored.
Watch it again, and count the lime green jumpers.
It is sensational rugby league from the moment the ball is turned over.
Could Super League's Magic Weekend work in Australia?
Maybe, but I don't think it's required.
The Super League is hailing their best ever "magic weekend" after all 12 teams played over two days in Newcastle.
And while the likes of former Raiders skipper Terry Campese, who played for Hull KR on the weekend, have suggested the NRL should adopt a similar concept with an entire round in a city such as Perth, I'm happy with what we have.
The Auckland Nines is the weekend where all the teams get together in the one location in this part of the world, and it's kicked some real goals the last two years.
Ours is a competition that covers far more territory every weekend; multiple states and countries. The Super League brings together a band of teams from across the north of England and one side from the south of France.
To limit a round of NRL to one city for a weekend I think isn't necessarily doing what's best for the majority of fans.
Could we have the match of the year in Round 13?
Yes, but only if the Bulldogs and Dragons bring their 'A' games to ANZ Stadium on Monday.
And I have a feeling they will.
It is time for last year's beaten grand finalists to make a statement of their credentials in this year's premiership, and there were signs of vast improvement in the opening to their last game against Canberra.
I'm not suggesting the 'Dogs will be desperate, but there is a fair gap starting to develop on the ladder between top and bottom.
For Des Hasler's team to sit outside the top eight at the halfway mark of the season would be a reflection of underachievement.
The Dragons on the other hand gain new admirers every week. That was a demolition job last Sunday against the Sharks, and there is no reason to think they won't bring 20,000 to 30,000 of their own supporters to the holiday Monday fixture.
So get your tickets! Big stage. Hopefully a big crowd. A huge match. Can't wait to call it on Fox Sports.
What about the battle in the west?
Saturday's clash in Perth between Souths and the Warriors also deserves star billing, especially if it lives up to the standard of the corresponding game in 2014.
For mine, last year's match between the two sides in the west was a defining game in the Rabbitohs' premiership-winning season.
They withstood a red hot Warriors team, overcame injuries during the match, and came from 14-6 down with 30 minutes to go to win running away 34-18.
Not at their best right at the moment, this may just be the game to put the champions back on track.
Nothing unlucky about Round 13 here punters... This is going to be a terrific round of footy. Good luck with your tips.