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Graham Annesley hopeful referees ‘won’t be required to act’ over red-zone penalty spike

MORROW & THOMPSON

NRL head of football Graham Annesley says he would prefer for referees to stay out of the game as much as possible but insists that tactics which purposefully test the rules have consequences.

Yesterday Annesley put players on notice over an alarming spike in penalties given away by teams defending their line. Asked whether coaches needed to have the law laid down to them also, Annesley was pragmatic in his assessment.

“I can’t force coaches or players do to anything,” Annelesy tells David Morrow and Mat Thompson.

“I would prefer that they allow the referees to stay out of the game as much as possible without drawing them into it, but if they’re going to push the boundaries of the rules then they have to accept the consequences of that.”

In his weekly media briefing yesterday, Annesley highlighted that 38 percent of penalties from the weekend were issued in the red-zone area and bluntly states that referees won’t hesitate to send players to the bin.

“The purpose of my public comments yesterday was to say to clubs that we can’t allow this to continue, and hopefully when games commence again for the next round on Thursday night that this won’t be the problem that it has been in recent weeks and the referees won’t be required to act” he said.

Click PLAY to hear more from Graham Annesley:

MORROW & THOMPSON
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