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The US Sun

Paul Wellens calls for every Super League game to have video ref access

By Gary Carter,


PAUL Wellens believes it is time for video referees to oversee every Super League game after a crunch call that saw a St Helens man sin binned was wrong.

Matty Lees was given a yellow card for a high tackle on Leigh’s Gareth O’Brien as the Leopards turned a 12-4 deficit to a 20-12 win.
World champions St Helens have suffered two straight defeats since defeating Penrith Panthers in Australia Credit: SWPIX.COM

But video replays showed on-field official Aaron Moore over-reacted - he was only handed a caution by the match review panel - and boss Wellens believes the sport should look at making referrals possible at non-televised matches.

“It would be a much cleaner system if we had replays at every game,” he said. “So every game is being judged by the same standard.

“We’ve become a bit too trigger happy when it comes to sending players from the field when were not quite clear on what’s actually happened.

“And if your team is on TV, your game’s being scrutinised more closely than others.

“I took it on good faith he was set from the field because it was a high tackle, but I watched it myself when I got back home and could see there was no contact with the head.

“I can understand at first look how you may think it’s a high tackle, I get that and to me it looked like one.

“But as a game we’ve got to be really careful, particularly when you don’t have replays at games.

“You’ve got to be absolutely, 100 per cent sure that there’s been contact with the head if you’re going to send blokes from the field.

“We lost a key player at the back end of an important game.”

Wellens is a keen football fan but while he hopes a system can be brought in that sees calls referred – but he does not want it to be like football’s VAR.
Paul Wellens believes every Super League match should have access to a video referee Credit: SWPIX.COM

He added: “I’m conscious that with VAR in football, it can take minutes out of a game.

“Rugby league’s key strength as a sport is action, action, action. I wouldn’t like to see us go down the path where a ref is stood on the sidelines for five minutes wondering what to do.

“At the same time, though, we can’t dismiss opportunities where we could maybe improve the game.”

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