Kevin Walters a ‘big fan’ of one-referee model as NRL conduct review ahead of 2021

New Broncos coach Kevin Walters believes the NRL should stick with the one-referee model in response to the game’s end-of-season review of the 2020 system.

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed the NRL will seek the council of every club coach and CEO and survey thousands of fans about keeping the one-referee model or reverting back to two in 2021.

Walters has a unique perspective of the new rule having worked as a commentator for Fox Sports in the first season of the NRL’s return to one referee.

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“Well having not been in the coach’s box this year and watching from the commentary box as a fan of the game I was a big fan of the one referee,” Walters said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

“They got some decisions wrong, but everyone makes mistakes. It is about how you react to that mistake as a player and a referee.

“I’m a one referee fan certainly. The six-again rule really did open up the game and there was more ball in play as such, but I am a fan of one referee for sure.”

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NRL Head of football Graham Annesley believes the switch to one whistleblower has dramatically improved the on-field spectacle, while reducing the number of on-field mistakes.

“I’ve got a personal preference for the single referee model, but my opinion doesn’t carry any more weight than anyone else’s,” Annesley told The Sydney Morning Herald. “That’s my view.

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“It was a risk when we went back to it because we didn’t have any data to gauge it against, but now with a season’s worth of data my perception is we’ve seen far less on-field refereeing errors. There has still been certain controversial incidents, but far fewer of them are being generated by the referee.

“I think the game has been a better spectacle with not having the two referees. Perhaps we don’t have two opinions for each decision when they might not correlate with each other.

Kevin Walters is a fan of the one referee model.Source:News Corp Australia

“We’ll look at the physical impact on referees and, as much as we can, the emotional impact on them, as well as game stats including ball in play and number of stoppages. Ultimately, the committee can’t make the decision. All it can do is make a recommendation to the Commission and the final decision is entirely with them.”

The referee model will be one of the major areas of debate for ARLC chairman Peter V’landys, who is also looking at a major overhaul of scrums next month.

The NRL will also assess a final round rule it trialled allowing the bunker to analyse on-field try decisions while the goalkicker lined up a conversion.

Originally published asKevvie a ‘big fan’ of one-referee model as NRL conduct review ahead of 2021

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