Gelling: I'd rather have no video refs
Anthony Gelling would like to see the video refereeing system scrapped.
The use of the extra official was a major talking point in both Super League semi-finals.
Wigan went 18-16 behind to Hull FC on Friday night when Steve Michaels touched down – a try which was awarded after countless replays, lasting several minutes –before rallying to claim victory which sent them into the Grand Final.
And Gelling says lengthy deliberations can have as much impact on the outcome as the decisions.
He said: “It was a try, fair enough, but the procedure...
“Hull have a big team, so our game plan was looking to get them at the end when they tire. But when they get a decision that goes on for so long, it’s like starting again – they were fresh and ready to go.
“It’s so frustrating. I thought I’d been sparked out, like I was dreaming, it kept replaying and replaying... it took the excitement out the game.
“You don’t need to watch it 20 times – watch it once, twice... it’s the same thing.”
Warrington’s semi-final win against St Helens the previous night was marred by a video refereeing controversy.
And while many have proposed various alternatives – including reverting to a system which doesn’t require the referee to make an on-field call before referring a decision to the screen – Gelling reckons the game would benefit from axing the video officials.
“Games which are not on TV, and have no video refs, no-one complains,” he says.
“No-one complains that ‘this decision was given or it wasn’t’ – I’d rather have no video ref. If it looks like a try and it smells like a try, it’s a try. Just give it on the spot.
“Even if you get the odd one or two (going against you), if you’re in a position that your defence has been broken and they’ve put the ball on (or close to) your line, give it a try.
“Video refs take the sting out of a game.”
Wigan battled back to score through Sam Powell and Gelling to seal a dramatic 28-18 win, and secure a place at Old Trafford.
Gelling’s team-mates piled on top of him after he celebrated his try by falling onto his back.
“Even if I hadn’t scored, I’d still be as happy,” he said.
“We were always confident. Even when they went ahead, we were behind the posts saying, ‘We’ve been here before’. Which we have – it seems every second week goes down to the wire!
“The way we came back at the end, and shut them out, was amazing.”