Revamp of the Video Ref

By Daniel Andruczyk

So I was thinking about the latest referee controversies and how things may be solved. So I have one possible idea, and am curious to see what people think and if they can find any holes in it. But first some round ups of results from around the world, where of course the Challenge Cup takes pride of place.

Challenge Cup

Last weekend saw the final of the Challenge Cup played between Warrington and Leeds. In front of over 85,000 Rugby League fans the “Wire” ran out 30-6 victors over the Rhinos and managed to defend their title. The question is no asked can Warrington win the double and how will Leeds bounce back after the defeat?

National Rugby League

Though after 25 rounds the top 8 is almost sealed in the NRL, the 8th spot is still up for grabs between 3 teams as is a place in the top 4. Penrith, Gold Coast, Sydney City and the Warriors are still after a spot in the 4 while Canberra, Brisbane and South Sydney are fighting for the crucial 8th spot. Round 25 results were New Zealand 36-4 Brisbane, Souths 24-16 Parramatta, Cronulla upset the Gold Coast 30-16, St George/Illawarra confirmed their Minor Premiership with a 26-18 win over Newcastle, Canberra beat North Queensland 48-8, Wests beat Melbourne 26-14, Sydney city beat Manly 30-14 and Penrith beat Canterbury 24-18. The table after 25 rounds looks:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 St George 25 16 0 7 2 205 36
2 Wests 25 15 0 8 2 37 34
3 Penrith 25 14 0 9 2 118 32
4 Gold Coast 25 14 0 9 2 19 32
5 Sydney City 25 13 0 10 2 39 30
6 New Zealand 25 13 0 10 2 39 30
7 Manly 25 12 0 11 2 41 28
8 Canberra 25 12 0 11 2 4 28
9 South Sydney 25 11 0 12 2 31 26
10 Brisbane 25 11 0 12 2 -25 26
11 Newcastle 25 10 0 13 2 -40 24
12 Parramatta 25 10 0 13 2 -64 24
13 Canterbury 25 8 0 15 2 -51 20
14 Cronulla 25 7 0 16 2 -217 18
15 Nth Queensland 25 5 0 18 2 -232 14
16 Melbourne 25 13 0 10 2 96 0

Be-mobile Cup

In Papua New Guinea, round 16 was completed with Port Moresby 24-18 beating Mt Hagen, Mendi 7-6 Kundiawa, Capital City beating Enga 28-18, Goroka beat Lae 38-10 and the Gurias had a bye. The Table by my calculations (remember I don’t have results for all rounds as yet) is:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Gurias 16 9 1 4 2 157 25
2 Mendi 15 10 1 3 1 14 25
3 Goroka 14 9 0 4 1 177 20
4 Enga 13 6 1 4 2 31 17
5 Pt Moresby 13 4 3 4 2 73 15
6 Capital City 15 6 1 7 1 -39 15
7 Kundiawa 15 5 1 7 2 -54 15
8 Lae 15 3 0 11 1 -110 8
9 Mt Hagen 16 2 0 12 2 -249 8


The last game, and effectively the final was played in the Japanese competition between the Tokyo XIII Warriors and the Japan ANZAC’s. The latter won the match 22-18 to take out what was all up a very competitive series. Word is that next year there will be a couple more teams joining them which are purely Rugby League teams.

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 Japan ANZAC’s 7 4 0 3 0 12 8
2 Tokyo XIII 7 3 0 4 0 -12 6

New Zealand

In New Zealand the Auckland championships had their Grand Final with Mount Albert losing to Otahuh 18-24. Also the first games of the Provincial championships were played with Wellington beating Waicoa Bay 22-8, South Island beating Heartland 26-6 and Northern had the Bye. The Auckland v Counties Manuka match is to be played on the 8th of September. The table currently is:

Team P W D L B PD Pt
1 South Island 1 1 0 0 0 20 2
2 Wellington 1 1 0 0 0 14 2
3 Northern 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
4 Waicoa Bay 1 0 0 1 0 -14 0
5 Heartland 1 0 0 1 0 -20 0
6 Counties Manuka 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Auckland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Some news form Norway. A new Rugby League Club has been established in Tromso, the Tromso Polar Bears. This is a town right up in the north of the country and now boasts to be the Northern most Rugby League club in the world. You can follow them on facebook at this link!/group.php?gid=150401294979780&ref=ts .

Jamaican Tour and Floodlit 9s

This month the Jamaicans had a two week tour of the UK, with an International against the GB Community Lions and then the Flood lit 9’s All up it was a successful tour, being competitive against the Lions losing 50-22 and also having a win during the Carnegie Floodlit 9s tournament against Hull FC.

Wigan won the annual Carnegie Floodlit 9s tournament to secure their second major piece of silverware this year. Results for the CF9s are:

Pool A – Wigan 12-6 Jamaica, Wigan 16-14 Hull FC, Jamaica 22-12 Hull FC – Wigan(4), Jamaica (2), Hull FC (0)

Pool B – Warrington 22-0 Halifax, Warrington 22-4 St Helens, Halifax 12-16 St helens – Warrington(4), St Helens (2), Halifax (0)

Pool C – Castleford 28-4 Scotland, Scotland 4-12 Bradford, Castleford 4-20 Bradford – Bradford (4), Castleford (2), Scotland (0)

Pool D – Leeds 28-10 Wales, Wales 8-14 Wakefield, Leeds 12018 Wakefield – Wakefield (4), Leeds (2), Wales (0)

Semi Finals – Wigan 16-12 Warrington, Bradford 26-22 Wakefield

Final – Wigan 20-16 Bradford

Other International news

The Australian and New Zealand defence forces stationed in East Timor had a Rugby League match to raise money for local organisations. Over $1800 was raised in what is hoped to be an annual match. The Kiwis were narrow winners against their fellow ANZACs 24-20.

Also it has been confirmed that the last European Shield East matches between the Ukraine and Latvia will be played on the 18th of September in Kiev, Ukraine.

Video Referee

So recently in the NRL and ESL there has been referee and video referee controversy. I think its pretty obvious that the standard of refereeing has to improve particularly with the technology. How a “try” like Mark Gasniers a couple of weeks ago can be awarded is beyond me. But there has also been criticism, for a while now, that A. The referees are going too often to the Video ref when there is no need, and B. the video referee is taking too long to make a decision when even blind Freddy could see what it is. So it got me thinking, having the video ref is a good thing, when it works it works spectacularly. But should we introduce a rule like in tennis, where a defending team has the ability to call upon the referee rather than the referee on the ground?

OK, so how would this work? I propose each team, as a defending team has three chances to go to a video referee through the game if they feel a try should not be allowed. If they are correct, they retain the use of that video option, if not then they lose it going down to two and so on if they have poor judgement. They have this in tennis where players can challenge a decision twice per set and if they get it right retain the use of the challenge, cricket also has something similar in Twenty20 I think.

But the normal referee, however, would not be allowed to go to the video referee. If a video referee cant make a decision then he would go to ‘Ref’s Call’ and depending on his decision if yay or ney then the team would retain or lose their turn. This would hopefully force the referees on the ground not to get lazy and be willing to make the tough calls, any mistakes early on may get shown up but I think in the long run it should improve the standard of refereeing. Remember that if both teams use up their calls early on then for the rest of the game its all up to the normal referee to make decision.

Second, how about bringing in a time limit for the video referee in the NRL, like the ESL has. In the ESL the video referee has only 2 minutes to make a decision. Why don’t we bring that into the NRL so that we don’t waste so much time. If after the 2 minutes a decision isn’t made, then it automatically goes back to the ‘Refs Call’ on the ground.

So I am interested to see what people think of this proposal, or if you have any other ones.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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28 Responses to “Revamp of the Video Ref”

  1. dragons4eva says:

    hey druzik good post man.

    Good news coming out of Jamaica, Japan and Norway. I didn’t know the domestic teams in Japan played that much domestic game rounds. Great to see new teams appearing in both Norway and Japan. I wonder what the new Japanese teams would be called the “Japanese ninjas?” or perhaps the “Tokyo Cherryblossoms?” lol who knows.

    Great to see jamaica touring and participating in the Floodlit 9’s same with Scotland and Wales. Hopefully maybe Ireland and France could enter into that competition…just a thought.

    And with the Video ref thought that sounds like a good idea. But i wouldn’t make it three i’d limit it to two. And i agree that the ref should ONLY call apoun it if the team asks…not when they do. And the two minute rule sounds logical.

    Still good post

    • druzik says:

      Yes Warren Heilig is doing a great job in Norway. In just a few years he has managed to get the sport established there which is great to see.

      The Japanese teams for next year, from what I am hearing will be the Tokyo XIII Warrior, the ANZACs who will re-brand themselves, the Gaijin Bulldogs who played a couple exhibition games this year and the new team the Shinjuku Giants.

      Actually, over dinner last night I thought a bit more about the Video ref and agree, 3 might be too much, though I think maybe 2 calls per half, like in Tennis where they get the calls reset in each set.

  2. PNG says:

    Great post thanks for bringing results from the be mobile comp it’s great to catch up on the scores from home you provide a great service for those of us living abroad the video ref idea has a lot of merit it’s similiar to something they have in the nfl were the coach get’s two chances to challenge a ref’s call would the vidieo ref only be able to interject when the defending team challenges a try or is it the same as usaul until a try is scored

    • druzik says:

      Your welcome, I am trying to hunt down the rest of the results from the previous two weeks… should hopefully have them in a couple days.

      I am not sure on the NFL system, though in 2 weeks will have a better idea as I am moving over to the USA, so will get to experience it first hand.

      I was thinking that it would be only the defending team, but maybe it can also be just the teams in Genaral…. that is something to think about. Is there any situation where the offensive team may need to use it? The defending team I can think of a half dozen reasons.

      Usually the attacking team always gets the benefit of the doubt no? So if there is a dispute it will come from the defending team?

  3. dragons4eva says:

    Awesome Druzik…USA wow!

    Are you going to be looking at the Rugby League situation and report on it while you’re over there?

    • druzik says:

      Yes I am… though that is no my main job. I will be working at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana on liquid metals for Fusion Reactor divertors, but there will be time dedicated to the AMNRL. CanRL and JamRL.

      The Chicago Stockyarders will be my local team 🙂

  4. PNG says:

    will rugby league international scores continue when your in the usa (please say yes)it would be great to hear how the games progres is going in the usa I think there is huge potential with rugby league in the usa if they could get some big name sponsors and a tv deal not only would the game spread like wild fire over there but i think it would have a flow on efect to international rugby league there is no shortage of cashed up yanks over there and if the usa league could get a couple of them hooked on league i’m sure they would get a solid return on there investment

    • druzik says:

      Yes it will… all I need really is an internet connection and my laptop and all can be done 🙂

      I am hoping to get some online commentary going during the Atlantic cup this year as well.

      Hopefully next year the AMNRL will be a fully pro sport…. David Niu is working diligently to get that to happen.

  5. dragons4eva says:

    That’s so cool Druzik.

    Do you know the current situation with the Pro Comp?

    • druzik says:

      Yeah… it a great job… a dream one in many respects in that I have a foot in the door in the most competitive scientific jobs market now. Success now is what I make of it.

      So what I know from David Niu he is still negotiating with the TV station(s)… that seems to be the stumbling block as much of the $$ will come from there. But its been a couple months since he has sent me anything on that subject. I think the AMNRL was taking up much of his time.

  6. superpaulia says:

    I’ve never heard of the Chicago Stockyarders. What competition do they play in?

    I enjoy reading your posts and hope they continue. I would very much like to see a pro RL competition in the USA with some “cashed up yanks” onvolved. I look foward to more news about progress in Jamaica and Canada

    • druzik says:

      They are a new team. They have been building up for a couple years, and this year played some demo matches at the War on the Shore and Grand Final and next year will come in to the competition proper. So They are in the AMNRL.

      The posts will certainly continue, don’t worry about that.

  7. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Daniel is it a one way trip to america?

  8. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Scrap the 2 referees,get rid of the video ref,go back to 5 metres,2 substitutions per game,proper scrums,corner posts,proper scrums and unlimited tackles is what rugby league is all about as well as going back to the traditional tours.Rugby league as a game would be like heaven.

  9. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Scrap the 2 referees,get rid of the video ref,go back to 5 metres,2 substitutions per game,proper scrums,corner posts, and unlimited tackles is what rugby league is all about as well as going back to the traditional tours.Rugby league as a game would be like heaven.

    • druzik says:

      Chris, go back to the 1950’s … Rugby League has gone beyond what is essentially Rugby Union… maybe you will enjoy watching that bore fest more.

      No one these days remembers that RL or wants it.

  10. superpaulia says:

    Recently I watched a re-run of the 1978 Challenge Cup Final between Leeds and St Helens on BBC 4.

    It was very enjoyable but different.

    The pace was slower, the players were obviously not as fit and you could see how different size players performed different roles e.g. big props like Chisnell and Pitchford played as did fast wingers like Smith and Mathias.

    The physical confrontation was not as intense but the players stood much deeeper and showed more imagination with their ball handling. There was no gamesmanship and the referee was not concerned about modern obsessions e.g. quick play the balls. They were also less concerned about retaining possession than present day players probably because the hooker could win back possession in a contested scrum.

    The contested scrums made a big difference to the gane but I personally thought they were a farce.

    Leeds won if anybody didn’t know and this was in the days of three point tries.

    The game has obviously developed and moved on as it must. Australian methods and tactics have played a big part in this but it is a shame the English (and French) game has lost it’s distinctive flavour. It was a joy to watch the varying tactics like the St Helens team putting a move on, the classy centres releasing the wingers, the second row fowards running wide etc

    In Europe, until about 1978 we used to regularly beat the Anitipodeans mainly by out-thinking them.

    We should attempt to repeat this

    • druzik says:

      There is still a very distinct style between the Australian and European games. Many of the old tactics and methods were changed because the fans wanted them changed. The contested scrum, made the game a mess and wasted a lot of time as I am sure you noticed. However you can still have a tight head scrum, its just that teams feel that they can use utilise the scrum better in other ways… but tactic are tactics, that is not my area of concern, I leave that for players and coaches.

      Also remember that it was only a 5m/yard rule back then too.

  11. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Superpaulia you are the only one on this site who actually makes sense and when is russia going to play serbia to determine the eastern european champions.In the year 3010.So much to these tournaments which is bollocks.Go back to tours at the expense of both sl and the nrl

    • druzik says:

      Well as much as I agree there should have been a final, its not going to happen. These are two distinct tournaments I am told, one was called the Europe Shjield east and the other the Euro shield west…. probably because the tournament was more a reflection on geography rather than ability.

      If you don’t like the website and the opinions people have on here… its simple don’t come on and read it. Have your own blog where you can go and vent your own opinions.

  12. C.T.SANDERS says:


    • druzik says:

      What game are you watching? There have been some absolutely fantastic fast and free flowing games this year in many competitions.

      Lewis has done wonders for the sport there… get your blinkers off.

      • superpaulia says:

        I agree. We must develop or die. There is too much competition to stand still.

        However, in Europe for the last thirty years we have slavishly copied Australian tactics without success. I would like us to redevelope our distinctive style. On far too many occasions in SL we see five flat passes or five runs from dummy half then a kick. These are Australian tactics and are fine but RL is a rich tapestry and variety adds spice.

        I would like to see some variation including traditional english tactics like ball handling loose fowards, clever half backs or classy centres making space for fast wingers. I yearn for the days when teams used to stand deep and put a move on.

        I include the French in this because they have lost their distinctive style of play too. Even during the 80s their ball handling skills were a joy to watch. I remember the current Toulouse coach Gilles Dumas who was a clever, under rated stand off despite playing behind a beaten pack. I don’t see this in French players anymore. It has been coached out by successive Australian without any reward – France are still a long way from being competitive at international level

        Until about thirty years ago, European RL teams used to regularly beat Australian/NZ teams by out thinking them. Since them we have tried to out muscle them and it hasn’t worked.

        We need a change of approach. I suggest that history might provide some inspiration.

      • druzik says:

        I really do disagree that the English have copied the Aussies in everything.

        The last few years have seen Super league be a much more espansive game… not as robotic as the NRL and all the LER I have been to, the french flair is still there… but that style is a double edge sword as it can produce many many mistakes.

        There is a good article in one of the RL world mags from last year that looked into why the english fell behind… actually there was an argument that they didn’t, they were competitive even when it looked like the Aussies were dominating. But the gist of the article was that the Aussies went professional much earlier and thet has given them the advantage. Individually there are some great european players but the set up needs to get much better.

        The thing is, up until the early 1980’s the sport was semi pro, it had players with jobs etc… the professinalism has changed the dynamic completely of the sport and what was done 30-40-50 years ago just does not apply any more.

  13. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Why were there huge crowds in the 50’s because the football under unlimited tackles was simply superb {unlike the garbage that is dished up today} which presented a level playing field unlike today.That’s the reason why France won 3 series in a row against australia in 1951,55 and 56 and they should of won the very first world cup in 1954 as well and when french rugby league is strong world rugby league is also strong.Show me where i said that i don’t like this website.I never ever said such a thing.It’s the best rl site in the universe but i can’t help it that the game of rugby league is in a mess all over the world largely thanks to inept administration.That’s why rugby league is the laughing stock.Again tell me what ya mate Richard Lewis has done,but more importantly,what have the poms have won since 1972?At least New Zealand are the World Champs and Lewis and his mob the world Chumps.Bring on Alex Murphy to sort the rot out in England.Going back to a proper winter season and going back to a full cycle of tours is indeed the way forward because summer rugby has been a total and utter disaster.

    • druzik says:

      It wasn’t, it changed because it was a bore… France won the series because they still had the players that survived the war to be able to put on a wonderful team… but the hit they took during the war they never recovered from… not properly.

      OK so you like the site, your posts seem to only criticise the site and what get written on here… But I am happy that you enjoy the site.

      I have pointed out in previous posts what Richard lewis has done, you need to go back and read those…. if you cant see the expansion of the sport under his gize not only in the UK but Europe then I don’t think there will ever be anyone to satisfy you.

      Why would Alex Murphy be better?

  14. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Superpaulia you are again right.over the last 25 years the poms have copied the australian style so much that they have forgotten to play their own style of play with the halves runing off their forwards and creating manoevres with the centres thus giving wingers overlap opportunities.Nowadys the poms play a poor man’s australian style of football that’s an absolute bore to watch.That’s why rugby union is booming in the uk and europe because with no cycle of tours anymore sl has become one dimensional like watching paint dry.It’s a bore and the nrl isn’t much better.Only the Canberra Raiders play good football.

  15. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Because he is like sir alex fergusson in soccer.He calls a spade a spade and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.When alex murphy coached england in the 1975 world cup which was a 2 legged affair between the 2 hemisheres england not only drew with australia coached by changa langlands in sydney but england won the return game at wigan 16/13.He has got an unbeaten record against australia as a coach at international level,as a player he was without doubt the greatest rl player of all time,he won 3 ashes series against australia in 1958,1959 and 1962,and he also won a world cup in 1960 when it was held in england.As a player coach he was simply brillant especially in converting rugby union forwards into good well established rugby league forwards and look what happened when he took unfashionable leigh to wembley in 1971 where they caused the greatest upset in challenge cup history by defeating red hot favourites leeds 24/7 at the empire stadium in the final.4 out of the 6 leigh forwards that day were former rugby union players,paul grimes,derek watts,geoff clarkson who went on to play professional rugby until he was 40 and jimmy fiddler a goal kicking prop who also played for balmain in 1974.Alex could always do the unexpected against the odds,he started the ball rolling at wigan in the early 80’s and if the poms want to win the 2013 world cup in their own backyard there is no sustitute for experience because what has macnamara won as a coach or even won as a great britain player.He needs a helping hand because for the sake of the game england must win the next world cup and they need all the help they can get and lewis should be approaching people like murphy,neil fox,billy boston and the like because they are from a generation that knew how to win even against the odds.
    as far as france is concerned you are accurate in what you say,i don’t rubbish postings that people put on this site and in fact i have praised many people like superpaulia one of ya mates and as far as unlimited tackles is concerned,the game opened up a lot better under that ruling and it was not as boring as you think it was unlike today’s game which is one gigantic bore with people runing into brick walls all day and night long,football with the dump if you like.dominos.It’s carbage.Go and look at the old tapes on video daniel on the russian rugby league site and go to pnrbn video,click on and see the difference for yourself daniel.I can’t help it if the game has been screwed up by idiots over the years using it as a gravy train just to suit themselves and my job here in nz is to get rid of the idiots for once and one all.I got rid of many but there are still a lot more to go.I think you might have the same problem in australia as well.Why would you go to the america?So you can get a go because in australasia you either wanted or not wanted.It’s a mates game.

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