THE on-field ruling of a try or a no try to then be sent to the video referee was first introduced into the NRL.
The ruling was introduced in a bid to help video referees. In truth, it has actually stifled them from making a decision completely off their own bat.
Video referees can only refuse to award a try if there is ‘sufficient’ evidence that the on-field decision can be overturned.
But, is sufficient evidence subjective? What may be sufficient for one referee may not be sufficient for another.
Also, sometimes the on-field officials could well be guessing at an outcome. On-field officials are forced into a split-second decision and they do not, unlike video officials, have the luxury of replays.
With that in mind, even though there is some slight evidence on a replay that the on-field official’s decision can be reversed, that is not good enough.
Yet, if the on-field official had gone the other way, then the video referee would have had to agree with that judgement too.
It’s overcomplicating what should be a simple decision-making process – let the video referee, who has all the technology at hand, make the decision purely from the square in the air.
Of course, critics of this rule change would point to the fact that video officials still get decisions wrong – that is true, but at least it would alleviate some of the pressure on on-field referees who already have dozens of things to think about in just one passage of play.
This is where the idea of a video referee at every Super League game comes back into it. To get that aura of consistency it is imperative that technology follows every top flight game within the next couple of seasons.