Two refs will help stop grapple: Bennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Two refs will help stop grapple: Bennett

By Todd Balym 03/02/2009 05:15:49 PM Comments (0)

Wayne Bennett is hopeful the introduction of two referees this year will help rid the NRL of grapple tackles.

The St George Illawarra coach has been a long critic of the controversial wrestling technique but he is confident last year's intense media attention and the two referee system for 2009 will improve the ruck area and result in quicker rugby league games.

Bennett's Dragons had two referees at training on Tuesday and aside from one collision between player and whistleblower the coach was happy with the new on-field set up.

"We had a hit out this morning and it worked pretty good. We were happy with it," said Bennett.

"We will have to work on markers and play the ball area and getting square ... (but) hopefully the ruck area will be a lot cleaner and quicker.

"It may (speed the game up) a little bit, not intentionally. Just by the fact there is one referee in the ruck area rather than 10 yards back it will certainly get the message to the players.

"There is no excuse anymore about not being able to hear."

Asked if he thought having one referee standing above the ruck would help stop grapple tackles, Bennett was optimistic the illegal tactic was being slowly eradicated.

"Well I think it is on the way out anyway," he said.

"Certainly the attention it has got the last 12 months has helped but absolutely I think having another pair of eyes out there won't hurt."

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