The video referee should be at all matches, says coach

Bradford boss Francis Cummins says some of the extra money from the new TV deal should go towards having the video referee at all Super League matches.

Currently, the video referee is only present when a game is televised live, which is limited to two on Sky Sports each week, but also the majority of Catalan Dragons home games, televised on French TV.

That has been the case ever since the inception of the competition, but Cummins believes it’s time to introduce it across the board, so that all clubs can benefit equally from the technology.

He said: “It’s an obvious one for me. The clubs have just been given a bit of a windfall, so maybe as a sport we need to invest in the video ref.

“There’s a definite two tier set-up with the video ref. We’ve been on TV once.

“A few of our results might have been different. Widnes away would; they knocked the ball over the line and they gave a try.

“It always helps having it. More just to help the referees. They need more help. There is some good stuff from the refs, and some good performances, but we need to give them as much help as possible. It’s too hard to referee on their own.

“To take the game forward, we should have it at all the games.”

Bradford, who will have the video referee present for their trip to Catalan at the weekend, and Wakefield have only been televised once so far this season, excluding the Magic Weekend.

Leeds lead the way with seven showings, closely followed by St Helens (6), Warrington (5) and Wigan (5).

The full schedule for the rest of the season is yet to be announced, although both Wigan and Huddersfield appear on Sky Sports a further four times before the end of June.

Bradford’s next scheduled TV game is against Hull KR on June 20.

For years, it has been commented that tries at non-TV games have been given that perhaps wouldn’t have been passed as tries with the benefit of television replays and analysis.

In the NRL, all games are televised, so all games employ the video referee.

When football introduced goal-line technology at the start of the 2013/14 season, it was implemented at all Premier League games.

And in rugby union’s Aviva Premiership, the video referee (or Television Match Official as it is known), is present at all games, regardless of whether the games are televised or not.

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