Canberra CEO Don Furner has continuously campaigned for trainers to spend less time on the field during an NRL match, with his Raiders on the receiving end of a call that went against them involving a trainer during Sunday’s grand final.
Luke Keary’s kick was charged down early in the contest and made contact with the Roosters’ trainer, with Sydney receiving the ball and a new set of six because of their territorial advantage, which Furner labels as an “archaic rule.”
“I’ve raised it a number of times. It’s been a pet hate. It doesn’t need to be in the game, but it’s crept in and stayed in. I’ve said it well before the incident [in the grand final],” Furner told SMH.
“That rule is archaic and was made when trainers weren’t spending half their time on the field. Regardless of what happened on the weekend, it’s been a blight on the game for a long time.
“Trainers aren’t standing out there treating any injuries or even giving out drinks, they’re standing out there directing the attack and passing messages on. That’s what they’re for. It would be very easy to clean that up. At the end of the day, those rules are easy – you stop the game and penalise them.
“You don’t need 15 people on the field [per team]. We made a massive effort on the fifth tackle, a great charge down, and we get no reward for it. In fact, we’re penalised for it.”
Furner will meet with NRL chief executives this month, and will likely suggest offenders should be penalised for interfering with play.