Cross calls for two refs in Super League

Widnes prop Ben Cross believes Super League should follow the lead of the NRL, and implement the two referees system.

The dual-ref system came in to place Down Under in 2009, and enables one referee to pay closer attention to the ruck, with the other keeping tabs on the defensive line.

Cross, who made just under 100 appearances in the NRL for Canberra, Melbourne and Newcastle, thinks introducing the system could help bridge the gap between the two competitions.

He told the BBC: “I believe we need two referees out on the field.

“I was a little bit against it when it first came into the NRL but once you started playing under it, it was a really good structure and you actually started to give away fewer penalties because the referees would talk to you in the ruck.

“The game became a lot cleaner and it sort of speed it up a little bit so I didn’t mind that sort of style of play with the two referees.”

Ironically, the system came under fire this weekend from Manly Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey, following their defeat to Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday.

His comments have since been backed up by Australian coach Tim Sheens, but NRL director of football operations Nathan McGurk says they are happy with the system.

He said: “We’re happy with the system.

“We’re always looking at ways to improve on the model but it’s very early on, we’re only five years into the two-referees system. But we’re always looking to make it better. We’d be taking the game backwards if we reverted to one referee.”

There are currently eight full-time match officials within the RFL.

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