Daniel Anderson Says No To Controversial Benefit-Of-The-Doubt Rule
The controversial benefit-of-the-doubt rule "could be destined for the scrapheap" after new National Rugby League referees' boss Daniel Anderson said that "he wanted to adopt a commonsense approach to help improve the standard of officiating next season," according to Stuart Honeysett of THE AUSTRALIAN. The former New Zealand Warriors and Parramatta Eels coach was "unveiled as the man to solve the crisis in the refereeing ranks with Tony Archer, retiring from his on-field role, and Russell Smith, stepping down as a video referee, to take up roles as technical directors." Anderson said Wednesday that "he was interested only in making subtle changes to improve the system, and that most of the howlers from this season emanated from the video referees box." Anderson "intends to canvass the opinion of NRL coaches on areas where the game can be improved" with a view to presenting a submission to the Australian Rugby League Commission for its final meeting of the year in mid-December (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/15). In Sydney, Brad Walter reported "while several rules, headed by obstruction law, will come under review before" the ARLC on Dec. 18. Anderson "indicated benefit of the doubt was unlikely to be an option for video referees next season." Archer also suggested that "benefit of the doubt was unlikely to survive." Archer said, "It's obviously something that we need to review." Anderson, who has stepped down from commentating duties with ABC Radio to take up the new role, said that "he was ready for the scrutiny that would come in his new position as successor to Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper." Anderson said, "I'm walking into this with my eyes wide open" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 11/15).