Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith clarifies video refereeing comments as he reveals major cause for concern

LEEDS RHINOS head coach Rohan Smith has clarified comments made about the new video refereeing system in the aftermath of his side’s 26-18 win over Hull KR last weekend.

That pre-season friendly saw the game stopped on a number of occasions as the video referee – sat in a centralised bunker for the first time in Super League history – cast his eye over potential foul play.

At the time, Smith called it “a real sapper” and that it would slow the game down exponentially.

Now he has clarified those comments and explained why the video referee is essential in terms of try-scoring opportunities rather than checking for foul play.

“I need to clarify my comments on that. I think it’s important we have the video referee for tries because they can significantly dictate the outcome of games.

“But the way that players are going to stay down whilst looking for a high tackle penalty that might get someone sinbinned, I think that will quickly lose its appeal.

“I think that it will be detrimental. There were four instances where the referee stopped the game against Hull KR only to proceed with the previous ruling which takes all the attrition out of the game.

“People want to see skill, collision and they want to see flow and attrition. They want to see players get tired but players won’t get tired if there are a lot of stoppages.

“If there are a lot of tries or try opportunities and they are stopping the game for that then that’s good because people want to see tries but people don’t want to see players stood around waiting for an outcome on something that wasn’t really a significant part of the game.”

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