Veteran coach Wayne Bennett has defended the NRL’s match review committee (MRC) and judiciary in the face of concerns about the system’s inconsistency.
Several players have expressed confusion over what constitutes a shoulder charge after Canberra’s Jack Wighton successfully fought a grade-two charge at the judiciary earlier this week.
Wighton was facing a potential four-game ban after the MRC charged him, but it took the judiciary just minutes to agree with the Raiders fullback and dismiss the charge.
It’s the latest in a string of incidents this year where the MRC and judiciary appear to be at loggerheads over penalties and even offences.
Brisbane coach Bennett doesn’t think that’s an issue however, saying the point of the judiciary is to deliberate on whether a charge is valid or not.
“You don’t want to go in there with a stacked deck,” Bennett said.
“That’s the last thing you want to do, that would make it a bit of a farce.
“There’d be no confidence from the clubs about the game and how they administrate the game.
“You want that situation between both parties where one thinks that should be a charge and the other is big enough and strong enough to say well that’s not guilty.”
Bennett says he isn’t worried about the shoulder charge issue either, although he does admit the NRL has made a rod for their own back over the contentious issue.
“There’s a bit of a contradiction with shoulder charges,” he said.
“If you carry the ball you can do what you like with the shoulder. We’ve seen guys get hurt by using their shoulders when someone’s trying to defend them.
“It’s not perfect but it’s the rule now, it won’t be changed, so we’ve just got to live with it.”