Wayne Bennett and Cameron Smith have joined forces in cautioning rugby league fans not to expect refereeing perfection as the NRL enters a new era of officiating during the All Stars and Charity Shield pre-season matches.
The $2 million bunker system will be rolled out for the first time on Saturday night, arriving with the promise of streamlining time-consuming video calls and hopefully eradicating the errors that have frustrated every level of stakeholder in the code.
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Video officials will be able to control footage and access new angles from a Central Command Centre in the Sydney suburb of Eveleigh. They will also have touch and split-screen technology, which will allow fresh looks at contentious passages of play in much quicker time.
It has been heralded as a state-of-the-art addition and an innovation that would potentially put it head and shoulders above rival codes in terms of integrating technology into the decision-making process for referees.
NRL football boss Todd Greenberg has guaranteed it will reduce times, sharpen up error rates and speed up the flow of the game in conjunction with new shot-clock laws around scrums and drop-outs.
Smith and Bennett, in Brisbane for Saturday night's All Stars contest at Suncorp Stadium, are supporters of the scheme and remain intrigued to see how quickly it finds its feet before the NRL season proper, which begins in March.
But both men said nobody should expect a flawless process and there are still going to be 50-50 calls that don't fall the way of certain teams or coaches.
Bennett said the best the NRL could hope for was a gradual improvement in accuracy and time and bunker referees were still going to dish out decisions that remain up for debate.
"I just want to remind you all that no system ever made is perfect. And this is not going to be perfect," Bennett said.
"But if it gets a quicker outcome for us with more consistency, then that's fine. Just understand, they'll get some wrong. Hopefully we will get less wrong each year."
'Consistency' has been the great buzzword from players and coaches surrounding refereeing decisions and it's that area where Smith hopes to see a marked improvement as the new system takes shape.
He also wants an end to the long periods of waiting around on the field to wait for a call. Under the new system, the NRL hopes the average time for a decision to be made will be around 40 seconds.
"From the players' point of view, hopefully it speeds up the decision-making. Having regular people during each match might help that and make it more consistent," Smith said.
"But as Wayne said, there will be errors made. We're not robots, we're humans and there will be mistakes. If it speeds the game up and we get some consistent decisions, that will be a good thing."
The refereeing changes will be the main point of interest on the first major weekend of 13-a-side rugby league for the year, although other rules are also going to be tested, including a crackdown on players failing to play the ball with their foot.
Bennett said he had no problems with that area of the game getting a spring clean, saying Brisbane and North Queensland were penalised just once each in a trial in Bundaberg the previous weekend.
"There is a play-the-ball problem and and players have been allowed to get away with it for too long. We don't want to be playing touch but at the same time, they can't afford to be ridiculous with the amount of penalties because the fans won't enjoy that either."