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St Helens coach Mike Rush wants video referees at all Super League fixtures
9:45am Friday 17th August 2012 in Latest News
SAINTS coach Mike Rush has called for video referees to be introduced at all Super League games.
Rush remains unrepentant after criticising referee Thierry Alibert in his post match press conference at Wakefield on Sunday.
Speaking this week, he reinforced his view of the match officials’ performances following analysis of video footage from Belle Vue, where Saints lost 33-32 following a last minute drop goal.
Rush highlighted Wakefield’s first try in which Danny Washbrook and Ali Lauitiiti run as decoy lead runners but then carry on into the Saints defensive line “like American football blockers”, obstructing Michael Shenton and Chris Flannery.
In another of the Yorkshire club’s tries Andy Raleigh, who had played the ball, follows up a kick to score from a blatant offside position, while Paul Wellens was taken out by a blocker in back play.
Rush echoed comments from the Warrington boss, Tony Smith, who called for video referees to be used at all Super League fixtures, like in Australia’s NRL competition.
Rush said: "Perhaps we need to have video referees at all games. I know some coaches spoke about that earlier in the season.
“We should have them at every game or not at all to get some consistency. I know cost is an issue and camera angles might be difficult but it needs investigating.”
He said the technology would not necessarily mean big screens need to be installed for every game.
Instead, he suggested, footage could be examined by a video referee positioned in a stadium, with a try or no try signal being given via red and green lights.
Rush added: “I know we could have done a lot better, but it is hard when those decisions are out of my control and maybe that is something when you are an inexperienced coach you find harder.
“I know people say decisions like that happen - but we were on the end of a least three of them at the weekend.
"I have put my case to the RFL on the phone and have spoken to Stuart Cummings about the bits of the game that frustrated me.
“I told him a number of tries shouldn't have been tries and were only given because match officials' inability to spot what was going on around them.
“I appreciate how difficult it is for match officials but at the end of the day I also need to protect my club and say that on that occasion we were on the wrong end of some tough calls.
"At the business end of the season you can't afford to be on the wrong end of too many 50/50 decisions but three of their tries are not 50/50 decisions.
“Andy Raleigh is offside when they score, we get men taken out on their first try and Ben Cockayne knocks on before getting up to play it.
"Now I have to move on and focus on Friday and Castleford at home. It hurt on Sunday as I felt we were on the wrong side of it time and time and time again.
“But we can't get away from the fact that our middle didn't bang their shoulder in enough. We can fix up certain things but there is not a lot you can do when players block your path or score from offside positions."