NRL ref bunker won’t be perfect: Bennett

League bosses may disagree but Wayne Bennett has warned fans not to expect perfection from the new NRL video referee bunker system ahead of Saturday night’s official unveiling.

NRL head of football Todd Greenberg predicted a zero error rate from video referees this year thanks to the $2 million bunker that will be used for the first time this weekend.

The NRL hopes to fast-track video referee decisions and establish consistency by accessing new camera angles from a state-of-the-art Central Command Centre based in the Sydney suburb of Eveleigh.

The system will be used for the All Stars clash in Brisbane and the Dragons-Rabbitohs Charity Shield match in Sydney, both on Saturday night.

It may have the powers that be excited but Bennett exercised caution.

“I just want to remind you all that no system ever made is perfect,” the World All Stars coach said.

“And this is not going to be perfect.

“But if it gets a quicker outcome for us with more consistency, then that’s fine.

“Just understand, they’ll get some wrong.

“Hopefully we will get less wrong each year.”

Greenberg hoped the bunker system would reduce the average time for a video referee decision to be made to around 40 seconds.

World All Stars captain Cameron Smith looked forward to the system speeding up the referees’ decision making process but assumed mistakes would still be made.

“From the players’ point of view, hopefully it speeds up the decision-making,” he said.

“Having regular people during each match might help that and make it more consistent.

“But as Wayne said, there will be errors made.

“We’re not robots, we’re humans and there will be mistakes.

“If it speeds the game up and we get some consistent decisions, that will be a good thing.”

Meanwhile, Bennett welcomed the NRL targetting incorrect play-the-balls this pre-season but hoped it did not bog down what he hoped was an open All Stars game.

“There is a play-the-ball problem and players have been allowed to get away with it for too long,” he said.

“We don’t want to be playing touch but at the same time they can’t afford to be ridiculous with the amount of penalties because the fans won’t enjoy that either.”

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