Inside the NRL's bunker.
Inside the NRL's bunker.

Changes to limit bunker's involvement in game

RUGBY LEAGUE: The NRL's controversial bunker system will no longer be used to determine knock-ons in general play or be called upon for 40-20 calls.

After consultation with a number of stakeholders, including coaches and the competition committee, the centralised officiating booth will only rule on point-scoring plays, in-goal restarts and reportable fouls.

The NRL revealed the changes on Tuesday.

"As we all become more accustomed to the incredible technology that we have at our disposal, we will always look to refine the system to ensure that the bunker serves the fans, the clubs and players in the best way possible," NRL head of football Brian Canavan said.

The changes will be tested for the first time on Friday during the All Stars match in Newcastle.

NRL referees boss Tony Archer said the bunker would continue to improve officiating in the game following its inaugural season.

"A review of the bunker after the first year identified that the most appropriate areas our reviewers should be involved in are point-scoring plays, in-goal restarts and reportable foul play," he said.

"In all other aspects of officiating, the on-field officials will make the call."

Archer said video review times in 2016 were down 17% on the previous video referee system in 2015.

He also claimed only five mistakes were made out of 709 video referrals in 2016.

The make-up of the video review teams will also be altered in 2017. The senior review official will be aided by one review official and a Hawkeye technician.

News Corp Australia


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