Klemmer: ‘We’ve got two referees because one didn’t work‘
Newcastle prop David Klemmer has questioned the NRL's controversial return to a single whistleblower, saying: "The reason we've got two referees is because one didn't work".
Only a day after NRL coaches argued against the code returning to one referee - a move which will save the game around $3 million - NSW and Australian prop Klemmer has revealed he also prefers matches officiated under the two-man system.
Yet the Kangaroo enforcer, who plays under one official at Test level, added the change could work if introduced in tandem with a proposed 'six again' rule for ruck infringements.
Elsewhere, Klemmer said Knights rookie Tex Hoy, 20, was ready to make his NRL debut when the competition resumes on May 28, revealing the young fullback was heavily tested in a Monday contact session.
Asked about the return to one referee, Klemmer said: "For Test footy, once you go back to one referee the main focus is slowing the ruck down because you know you can do it.
"You can test the limits there.
"I think the reason we got two referees was because one couldn't see everything, couldn't control the game.
"Everyone is calling for it to be back to one, but the reason why we got two is because one didn't work.
"But I can't make that call. It's for people higher above me.
"And whatever it is, we have to get on with it and play footy."
Klemmer said with one referee, the obvious move for all NRL teams would be to try and slow the ruck down.
"Because that's what you've got to do," he said. "You let the ruck go and the (opposition) are going to run over the top of you.
"It's a natural instinct. I think the majority of teams will do it.
"So I think two (referees) is good.
"If there is a knock on or something else happens, like a strip, there's always that second person that can help with the call, another pair of eyes out there."
Klemmer added however that a proposed rule allowing the referee to call 'six again' for any team infringing within the ruck could actually speed up the game and combat the on-field officials being halved.
Speaking with The Daily Telegraph on Monday, ARLC chairman Peter V'landys stressed he would be sticking with the move to one referee, while also suggesting the 'six again' rule would be a huge deterrent to ugly wrestling tactics within the code.
"I haven't heard too much about that new rule yet but I think it can speed the ruck up," Klemmer agreed. "It will be good."
Klemmer also suggested Hoy, who starred at the NRL Nines, was ready to step up and replace Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga, who will still be suspended when the competition resumes.
"Tex is a great player, a great talent," the NSW Origin forward said.
"He trained today and had no drops at all.
"He copped a couple of high balls with the boys coming after him too, and he held his own. He's a great talent who is only going to get better.
"I'm happy for him to get his start."
Originally published as 'We've got two referees because one didn't work'