'Challenge call' for NRL not supported - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

'Challenge call' for NRL not supported

By David Beniuk and Ed Jackson 27/05/2009 05:56:45 PM Comments (0)

Des Hasler's call for a "captain's challenge" has received a luke-warm response from his fellow NRL coaches.

Hasler revived the call for the tennis-style challenge to refereeing decisions, saying it was a "constructive suggestion" in the wake of a last-gasp penalty which cost the Sea Eagles their match against Gold Coast on Sunday.

Hasler, a critic of the new two-referee system, believes each captain should get two challenges per game.

Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart said mid-season was not the time to be discussing the move.

"I think the referees have got enough on their plate," he told AAP on Wednesday.

"I don't think we need to be adding new rules to the game just yet but I can understand what Des is saying.

"It's probably something that needs to be spoken about at the end of the year."

NRL chief operations manager Graham Annesley has said Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens mooted the scheme in 2007, but the majority of coaches were not in favour of it.

Newcastle coach Brian Smith rejected Hasler's plan outright.

"I think we're trying too hard," Smith said on Wednesday.

"There are games which are decided by big decisions right at the end of a game.

"Every now and then that will happen, we've had a couple of them in the last couple of weeks.

"But throughout the course of this year there's been, I would suggest, almost every team disadvantaged by an incorrect call that has led either directly or indirectly to a try.

"It's only when it happens in the last couple of minutes that everyone wants to jump up and down."

Unlike Hasler, Smith is a fan of the two referees.

"It's been an outstanding success with some notable exceptions where referees have made incorrect decisions," he said.

The Newcastle boss said the game was more fluent for both spectators and players who had earned the right to a quick play-the-ball.

"The thing the two referees has done is not so much overcome the stoppages, I think that's come about through the removal of using the video referee for stripping in particular," he said.

"But it's the ... greater fluency or speeding up of the game at times when teams deserve it (that) is a result of the two referees policing the ruck in a different way.

"I think that's why we've got a much better product or an improved product this year."

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