St George Illawarra welcome moves to eliminate “diving” from the NRL, says star utility Josh Dugan.
The Dragons were accused of the controversial tactic of staying down in the hope of drawing penalties on video review by an irate Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson in the wake of the sides’ dramatic Anzac Day clash.
Following Robinson comments, which earned a $40,000 fine, and also a discussion on the topic at last week’s coaches meeting, the NRL has moved to subtly curtail the powers of the bunker in regards to possible foul play.
The opening match of round 10 was a case in point, when referee Ashley Klein missed a high shot by Dragons back-rower Joel Thompson on Canberra playmaker Blake Austin.
The bunker didn’t over-rule Klein, but Thompson was later charged by the match review committee and faces a one-week ban.
“I think every team has been guilty of it (diving) at times,” Dugan told AAP at Dragons training on Sunday.
“If you can get your side a penalty, why wouldn’t you lay down for a couple of extra seconds?
“I am not saying everyone does it or anything like that and you don’t purposely go out there to lay down but sometimes it does get your team on the front foot and sometimes that is what your team needs.
“This will now eliminate that, and if the refs start making their own calls and they have the confidence to do that, the game will be much better for everybody.”
Dugan admitted to frustration amongst players at the regular interference of the bunker during general play.
“Any time you take the decision out of the hands of the video ref it makes the game flow a lot better,” Dugan said.
“There will be no reason to argue any more and we will all just get on with it.”