Faster decision making for a faster game will be the focus of the NRL’s new refereeing bunker when it comes into operation for the new season.
The highly-touted $2 million a year central command centre will be based at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh, Sydney.
It was tested during the Charity Shield match between South Sydney and St George Illawarra, the All Stars fixture and last weekend’s Penrith-Parramatta clash.
The bunker will make its NRL debut in the 2016 season opener between Parramatta and Brisbane at Pirtek Stadium on Thursday March 3.
The NRL has moved to quicken the pace of the game and encourage more ball in play this year as evidenced by a new shot clock governing scrums and drop-outs.
The game’s governing body is confident its new officiating process will follow suit, with quicker decisions, made away from the glare of infuriated fans, expected.
Faster, and most importantly, more accurate video refereeing decisions are likely, with NRL match officials having access to state of the art technology to review calls made on the field.
One of the biggest improvements from the old system is that match officials are now able to play back camera angles and replays on their own rather than relying on the host broadcaster.
Split screens, touch screens and zoom functions will all further enhance the abilities of the bunker match officials to get decisions right.