Matthew Johns wants the NRL to stop referees from being able to refer to the bunker in an extension of the controversial captain's challenge, which has been met with trepidation by some of the code's biggest names.
One of the sharpest analysts in the game has made the radical call before the second trial of the captain's challenge in this weekend's Charity Shield, urging the code to put even more onus on players to correct refereeing errors.
Maori skipper Adam Blair used the captain’s challenge to dispute a knock-on.Credit:AAP
"It puts the onus on players rather than the referees. There is far too much pressure on the referees, technology hasn't been good for them.
"You look at any sport, with cricket and umpires, it has undermined their confidence. How soul-destroying when they give it out and then they have to wipe it."
Both South Sydney and St George Illawarra will have one unsuccessful challenge in the traditional pre-season trial at Mudgee this Saturday, just a week after the concept was launched in the All-Stars match on the Gold Coast.
The captain's challenge can only be used during a structured restart of play such as a penalty, scrum or dropout.
'It puts the onus on players. There is far too much pressure on the referees, technology hasn't been good for them.'
Fourteen NRL clubs will not have trialled the captain's challenge under a game situation if the ARLC gives formal approval for the rule to be introduced for the season proper.
"I do have an opinion on it and I'm probably in the business now of having a strong opinion," Cronk said.
"I'll premise it by saying that I like the Commission is being innovative, I like they're trying to connect and come up with new ideas … and pleasing the viewers at home. Whenever you bring in a new idea or technology humans are still the ones operating it.
"I'd like to see a bit more example of it. We're not talking about [a] black and white easy decision, [we're talking about] a grand final whether it's six to go or not. We need to road test it under that intensity. You can't do that unless you magnify the games and do all that.
"I have reservations, but I like [that] they're trying initiatives."
Meninga, who is a member of the NRL's competition committee, predicted teams could use it strategically towards the end of a match even if they didn't think a referee had made a blunder.
"Rules are meant to be broken or utilised to the advantage of a team," the Immortal said. "Coaches will look at ways to help their side under pressure, [the] back end of a game if they're two points in front maybe try to slow things down. It might be a tactic."
The Maori All-Stars' Adam Blair unsuccessfully used a challenge late in his side's triumph over the Indigenous side, which didn't protest any decision during the clash.
with Adrian Proszenko
HOW THE CAPTAIN'S CHALLENGE WILL WORK
* Only a captain can challenge a decision and if he's not on the field another player can be nominated to take his place;
* Each team has one unsuccessful challenge per game;
* Only decisions before a structured re-start of play such as a penalty, scrum or dropout can be challenged;
* Captains have 10 seconds after a referee's decision to lodge a challenge.
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