Lockyer tees off at NRL ‘joke’

Darren Lockyer isn’t keen on the Bunker.
Darren Lockyer isn’t keen on the Bunker.

THE time the NRL bunker is taking to decide on tries is almost like having another two interchanges, rugby league legend Darren Lockyer says.

Lockyer formed part of the NRL competition committee that gathered on Friday to discuss a range of issues, including the possibility of reducing the interchanges from eight to six.

However, the former Kangaroos, Queensland and Broncos captain revealed the governing body is likely to make reducing dead time in the game a priority, taking particular aim at the video referee.

It has recently been reported the bunker is taking an average 65 seconds per review this year.

"What the bunker's created is almost like another couple of interchanges because of the amount of time it takes to adjudicate a decision," Lockyer said on Sunday.

With the increase in sin binnings this year, the NRL is also believed to be concerned about the amount of time marched players are taking to leave the ground.

"The time players are taking to get off the field, some of it's a joke," Lockyer said.

"The competition committee is going to try and address some of that dead time in the game, but it won't be easy to change players' behaviour quickly."

While the NRL has already confirmed it would look at reviewing the interchange system, a final decision is unlikely to happen in time for next season.

The NRL Bunker continues to come under fire. (NRL Photos.)
The NRL Bunker continues to come under fire. (NRL Photos.)

The development comes as the game seeks to increase fatigue in matches, with Newcastle coach Nathan Brown recently reigniting calls for the introduction of the captain's challenge.

Lockyer said the committee's main aim is to create a product people love watching.

"There's things you've got to take into consideration. Clubs need to be able to get their rosters ready, so there needs to be some lead time," Lockyer said.

"The decision might be made this year, but to see it implemented next year would be a long shot."



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