If the 2016 Auckland Nines showed us anything it is that video technology is not only redundant it is completely backwards thinking.
After almost 15 hours of Nines action played over two days by over 288 players from all sixteen NRL franchises without the aid of technology you can just imagine how many referee shockers were being talked about come Monday morning.
Go on, imagine.
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No really, ball park a number in your head.
Remember this is same the moronic, half blind band of officials that plagued the papers and networks with their idiocy all last season so think big with that number your imagining.
Ok got your number?
Right well I have the official number here.
That’s right, none.
Nada, squat, bupkis, zippy.
Not once in the 840 minutes of top flight NRL Nines action did any commentator or player have any real issue with anything the referees did or did not do.
Do you know why?
Because they didn’t have time too.
Dropouts, kickoffs, conversions even stoppages in play – every aspect of the game was sped up to the point where players (and commentators) had to concentrate on the actual game and not second guess every decision made by an official.
And speaking of decisions, the only time referee calls were mentioned was in a five-second ‘the ref has got that one spot on there’ replay before play resumed.
Everyone loved it. The whole weekend was a ‘how good is this’ fest for those of us who are sick to death of hearing about video referees and mistakes by officials.
And yet, despite this crystal clear showcase of how effective the old ‘trust the ref and get on with footy’ system is, the NRL continue on down the path of least effectiveness pursing this NFL-style ‘bunker’ technology for season 2016.
That’s the technology that costs millions of dollars, the same one that will still have us all hearing about this blunder and that come Monday morning.
How farcical that they can’t see what we fans see, what the AFL sees, even what the S15 sees.
Rugby league has a big problem on their hands with players from all levels of the game not respecting the referees.
The NRL could stamp this out with one decision by empowering their top flight officials to make calls.
Bring back common sense, bring back tribalism and bring back that Monday morning back page article that hinted at referee-assisted fortune instead of the ones we read nowadays that are completely focused on one decision like the rest of the game didn’t matter.
Come on NRL, you above all other sports should know that to go forwards you have to go a little backwards first.
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