Bennett wants shot clock on NRL refs

Wayne Bennett wants clock pressure put on video referees and not just NRL players.

The veteran coach believes the NRL’s new changes for next season, a shot clock for drop outs and interchanges reduced from 10 to eight, will be undermined unless time constraints are also put on the video referee.

The measures are designed to make play more continuous and also to reduce injury but Bennett points out the video refs’ sometimes-lengthy deliberations are allowing players to get plenty of the rest and recovery the new rules are intended to cut.

“We’re cleaning up all this and putting pressure back on the players and everything else about their time in the game, we just can’t have one group (video refs) completely outside that system,” Bennett said.

“We’ve got to put a time limit on it, in my opinion, and come up with a system there that keeps it to a certain time and we’ve got to live with the decision.

“That’s what’s great about sport. Sport is not a science, it’s imperfect.”

Bennett said the reduction in the interchange – meant to cut injuries by reducing big collisions through fatigue – would not alter much, with the real differences to come when the number was inevitably, in his opinion, reduced to six.

He said coaches would find different ways to slow down the game if they felt their players were struggling.

“The other thing will be injuries. There’ll be guys who will take the dive carrying the footy and realising his team’s really exhausted and that’s the last thing we’re going to want to see,” he said.

“You’ve solved one problem but there’s going to be others come around.

“Two interchanges is not really going to impact on the way we play right now. Most of us are probably only using eight or nine interchanges a game, that’s pretty well worked out.

“It’s when it gets to six, that’ll be the real hurt time.”

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