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Manly coach Des Hasler has called for the NRL to immediately change the use of the video referee, handing more power back to the on-field officials.
Hasler wants the NRL to implement an NFL-style video review system whereby the referee himself watches replays at sideline terminals to decide whether to award a try. The Sea Eagles boss remains upset at a crucial decision by video referee Chris Ward in yesterday's loss to New Zealand Warriors not to award a try to Manly due to obstruction.
Hasler believes referee Paul Simpkins was prepared to award the try yesterday but was over ruled after seeking clarification from Ward. Hasler says giving full power to the on-field official is the best way to reduce confusion amongst players and coaches ahead of the finals.
Meanwhile, the NRL match review committee has not laid any charges following the round 24 football action last weekend.
The news will be welcomed by Manly prop Jason King who was put on report for a high tackle during the Sea Eagles' loss to the New Zealand Warriors yesterday. Bulldogs forward Sonny Bill Williams, Melbourne centre Anthony Quinn and Gold Coast prop Ian Donnelly all escaped grapple tackle charges despite being penalised as part of the crackdown at the weekend.
On the injury front, South Sydney star Nathan Merritt has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a leg injury in yesterday's win over the Wests Tigers.
Merritt has undergone scans this morning, with Rabbitohs physician Errol Alcott saying the fullback is facing surgery and likely four months on the sidelines.