There’s never a dull moment in the National Rugby League. We look at five issues that will continue to bug the game going into 2019.
Common sense officiating and sensible use of video technology
A major irritant in 2018 was the way games were officiated. At first it appeared to have some merit in an attempt to quicken up the game around the play-the-ball area. However the penalty blitz, highlighted by Matt Cecchin’s sin bin of Cameron Smith against Cronulla, made the game too stop-start and limited entertainment for the fans. Whilst the rugby league public want better officiating of games, they also want common sense. Maybe with the removal of Tony Archer, and now Graham Annesley overseeing the referee department, we will see a significant shift in 2019. Bernard Sutton is on notice.
There also needs to be a balance between referee decision making and the use of video technology. Decisions made in the multi-million dollar bunker are wrong too. You only have to ask Canberra Raiders fans after their loss at Cronulla last season ended their finals run. Is there any reason why the referees on-field can’t work alongside the Bunker and make a joint decision?