They could’ve done with one on Friday night, but Canterbury says the incoming refereeing bunker will significantly reduce mistakes made by the NRL’s officials.
While the Bulldogs were knocked out of the premiership race with a 38-12 pummelling by the Sydney Roosters, much of the aftermath will centre around a controversial try to prop Kane Evans that turned the semi-final on its head.
Leading 8-4 and with the match in the balance, Evans ran what looked to be a routine carry towards the tryline and appeared to have stopped momentum before falling over the line.
Crucially, lead referee Matt Cecchin ruled a try, which was later upheld by the video referees despite replays showing Evans planting the ball short of the stripe.
Evans said after the match that he thought the video referees would overturn the decision.
“I thought it looked like no try but when he gave it… happy days,” he said.
Diplomatic Bulldogs coach Des Hasler didn’t think it was a try, but played down it’s significance in the context of the match.
“At the end of the day, it probably wasn’t a try and the referee called it a try and the video referee probably didn’t have enough evidence to overrule,” he said.
“Was it a turning point? Maybe. It’s all speculation now.”
While debate will continue to surround the Evans try, Hasler believes the introduction of a refereeing bunker next season would raise the accuracy and speed of the officials in the box.
“From what we’re hearing, it’s all going to change next year anyway, isn’t it? The bunker will take care of all that,” he said.
“The biggest problem with it is they don’t control the vision. The video referee doesn’t control the vision. If they control the vision, they’ll make decisions quicker.”
Fullback Brett Morris said he was given a preview of the bunker in a State of Origin camp earlier this year, and was also confident that it would prove to be a success.
“They showed us the concept of the bunker and they seemed to come up with the right decisions a lot more often, they get better camera angles and it happens a lot quicker, so there’s not much standing around,” he said.
“It’s probably a lot better system than what we have in place now. I can only say that if they bring it in, it’s going to be better for the game.”
The NRL will have further discussions on the bunker at the end of the season.