One referee system retained by NRL for 2021 season, despite protests

The NRL has decided to retain the one-referee system in 2021 – and the men in the middle aren’t happy.

NRL boss Andrew Abdo told the referees about the decision last night, despite protests from the whistle-blowers that the system places too much pressure on their shoulders.

NRL supremo Peter V’landys cut the on-field referees back from two to one after the COVID-19 break, largely as a cost-cutting measure.

The NRL canvassed opinions from referees, coaches and players in recent weeks to evaluate the best refereeing model.

Most of the coaches and players voted for the single ref, while the refs themselves went for the old two-referee model.

“It’s disappointing but a lot of the decisions these days come down to dollars and cents, which is understandable,” one leading referee told Wide World of Sports.

“Having a single ref means more pressure and it will also cost a lot of the part-timers in our group their jobs.”

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