NRL to give video refs more power - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL to give video refs more power

By Brent Read 02/03/2004 09:22:21 PM Comments (0)

The National Rugby League has extended the power of video officials and directed referees to clamp down on the grapple tackle ahead of the premiership kick-off in two weeks.

NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said video referees would be given greater powers to review foul play this season amid allegations some players took "dives" last year.

A handful of coaches claimed that players stayed down so the video referee would have time to review incidents and award penalties.

In response to that, the NRL has now given video officials the ability to look at back at the entire set of six tackles rather than only the preceding play - as was the practice in 2003.

The referee will now wait until the end of the tackle count before asking the video referee to review any incident in the lead-up.

"We have extended the powers of the video referee a lot further than was envisaged," Annesley said.

"There is no doubt it's a delicate balance.

"But each time we ensure it's not a knee-jerk reaction. We have done everything we can to make sure the flow of the game is maintained."

The NRL is confident the new guidelines will stop players staying down in general play.

Annesley also revealed the NRL had taken action to stamp out the "grapple tackle" - in which players use leverage on the head and neck region of the opposition to slow down the play-the-ball.

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