The NRL has categorically rejected calls to abandon The Bunker following another weekend of controversial refereeing decisions.
NRL football department head Graham Enesley told News Corp last weekend that the league is following two controversial calls made as a result of Knights ’loss to the Broncos on Thursday night.
In the first half of the attempt, The Knights canceled The Bunker’s attempt after an obvious run-in, while the Broncos got one attempt, despite what seemed to be an obstacle in the run.
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Ricky Stewart, Dez Hasler and Todd Peyten are among the NRL coaches who have criticized The Bunker in recent weeks, and Stewart has called on the NRL to drastically reduce The Bunker’s involvement.
“I really think The Bunker is doing it so wrong that we only need The Bunker to be involved in controversial attempts,” he said earlier this month.
But despite another weekend during which he hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, according to Enesley, the “Bunker” as we know him remains here.
“I just don’t think (getting rid of The Bunker) reflects the reality of expectations in general these days,” he said.
“Can you imagine what a drama we would have had if the referees had missed an obscene game?
“People would say, ‘We have technology, why don’t we use it?’
Enesley said the Bunker plays a crucial role in resolving situations, especially those occurring near the sideline.
“How many attempts would be wrong if we didn’t use The Bunker?” He asked.
If we got rid of the Bunker completely, could you imagine the judges trying to rule on some of these acrobatic attempts that are killed in the corner?
“It’s almost impossible for the naked eye to do.”
Enesley also said removing Bunker would mean abandoning the “Call the Captain” rule. Of the 148 challenges that have been held so far this season, 73 have been successful (67 have failed and eight have failed).
“If we don’t use technology for Captain’s Challenges, 73 decisions will be made this year … otherwise it would be wrong,” he said.
Enesley said the NRL is constantly striving to find a happy remedy in the way it conducts the game.
“I was the first to recognize that we need to find the right balance between technology and continuity,” he said.
“This is something we are constantly monitoring. We are always up to the referees on how to keep the game going and minimize breaks.
“But to expect that the game can run on a professional level without the help of technology is simply unrealistic.
“Most of the major sports around the world that are performed at a professional level have some technological assistance. This is the way of peace. “