New refs boss puts benefit of the doubt in doubt
Thursday 15 November 2012 9:34 AM
Just minutes after being appointed as the NRL's new referee's boss, Daniel Anderson has signalled an imminent end to the benefit of the doubt rule.
The National Rugby League yesterday announced that Anderson will head a new leadership team as NRL Referees Elite Performance Manager in charge of the 2013 Premiership squad.
His first act was to cast doubt over the controversial rule, saying common sense should prevail.
"If a person watches a try, and 99 per cent of the fans say, 'That's not a try', I'm thinking it's not a try," the former Warriors and Eels coach said.
"I don't want the one per cent decision to be the try. I don't even want it to be used. That's just common sense to me."
Anderson believes the majority of 2012's refereeing controversies came down to unclear technicalities in the rulebook and over-analysis in the video box.
"The howlers, the clangers, came from the video refs and the adjudication of tries," he said.
"Maybe that was a result of the policy. It skewed so far that people who watched the game, commonsense-wise, would say, 'I don't know how they got to that decision'. Maybe that wasn't a result of the person, but the rules."
The two-time Grand Final coach will have Tony Archer and Russell Smith assisting as technical coaches.
The appointments mark a restructuring of refereeing that moves away from the dual coaching model of the past two seasons.
For Tony Archer, the announcement brings to a close a spectacular refereeing career that includes the past six Telstra Premiership Grand Finals, 13 State of Origin Games, nine Tests including a World Cup and a Four Nations Final. He is a three-time winner of the NRL Col Pearce Medal and a three-time winner of the International Referee of the Year Award.
“It’s been an amazing experience but I was already at a point where I was deciding whether or not to go for one more year when this opportunity arose,” Archer said.
“I have spent the past few years studying sports administration at University and this is an opportunity to be involved in two areas that I am passionate about.
“The good thing from my perspective is that I know the talented people we have coming through and I am keen to work with them.
“Refereeing is an incredibly exciting career and I want to help people experience the same thrill I have got out of the game over the years.”
NRL Interim Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, said the appointment represented a strong commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes on the field.
“We have taken a close look at every aspect of refereeing at NRL level and are in the process of a detailed review into pathways across the game,” Mr Mattiske said.
“At NRL level we have identified performance coaching and team building as key priority areas and Daniel has a strong track record in both. There is a wealth of refereeing talent and technical support available to him.
“Tony Archer has refereed the past six NRL Grand Finals as well as Test matches and Origins while Russell Smith has refereed Tests, Super League Grand Finals and Challenge Cup Finals. Both have been named International Referee of the Year.”