Cameron Smith has been widely criticised for his influence over referees. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Cameron Smith has been widely criticised for his influence over referees. Picture: Gregg Porteous

Graham: Robot refs will counter future Smiths

St George Illawarra veteran James Graham says the more technology the better, as contentious refereeing decisions continue to plague the NRL.

Head referee Chris Sutton, assistant referee Chris Butler and touch judges Clayton Sharpe and Adam Cassidy have been axed this week after making four mistakes in Parramatta's contentious 24-22 win over the Warriors last Saturday.

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Hawkeye technology has been floated to combat incorrect forward pass decisions, while Graham made a radical prediction that the game would one day be officiated by robots.

"It's a frustrating time. I think the referees are having a hard job of it when we're changing the rules halfway through the season, we're changing the interpretation of the sport and it's a difficult game to referee," Graham told NRL360.

 

James Graham has backed the introduction of further technology in the NRL. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
James Graham has backed the introduction of further technology in the NRL. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

 

"From my point of view, the more technology we can use, the better it's going to be and no joke I think we'll get to the point where it'll be robot referees and then there's no emotion.

"You look back at our game 50 years ago and it's hardly recognisable and I reckon in 50 years time we'll have a robot referring and then there's no emotion, there's no (Melbourne captain) Cameron Smith to influence them."