Henjak endorses NFL-style ref team call - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak endorses NFL-style ref team call

By Wayne Heming 14/05/2009 05:24:53 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak has enthusiastically endorsed a bold proposal to adopt an NFL-style team of match officials for NRL games next season.

Innovative Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle is set to pitch the proposal at the next chief executives' meeting, calling for changes to the NRL's dual referee system introduced this year.

Searle told AAP this week the league should look at the model used in America's NFL, which has teams of officials that remain the same for the duration of the season.

"I think it's a great suggestion, I think there's a lot of merit in it and I believe we'd get better consistency under that formula," said Henjak.

"After (coaches and players) have watched the team of officials they'll be able work out what that particular group expect and how they interpret different rules in the game.

"I really think the players in our game would get great benefit out of that."

Searle came up with the idea after the Titans' controversial loss to Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on the same weekend Brisbane lost to Manly when centre Jamie Lyon was awarded two highly contentious tries.

Titans coach John Cartwright blasted the inconsistencies of playing under two referees after the Gold Coast's loss but co-captain Scott Prince has since come out publicly and said the referees got a few of the crucial calls, including a `no try" ruling against the Titans at the end of the game, right.

Searle's plan is to copy the system used in the NFL, with a team unit to include the same two referees, two touch judges and video referee from the start of the season in March until the end in early October.

At the moment referees coach Robert Finch makes his appointments for the weekend games, and rarely does a team remain the same from one round to the next.

Under Searle's proposal, the most consistent team would be rewarded with State of Origin fixtures and the grand final.

"You would have a lead referee and they would almost become the captain of the group of officials," Searle said.

"That group of officials would be the same for 26 rounds.

"That team would train together, they would officiate together, they would do rule interpretations together, they would be benchmarked together.

"They could truly become a team."

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