Hooper open to rugby report system

Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 8:00 AM
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Israel Folau believes they can nullify Ireland's blocking tactics on him, as long as they can execute their kicking game.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper says he’d be open to a trial of a reports system in rugby, though admitted it would be a big change for the code.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen floated the introduction of a reporting system, similar to rugby league, after a red card for France fullback Benjamin Fall changed the shape of their second June Test.

Fall’s card was ultimately rescinded earlier this week, but it was a decision that sparked plenty of post-match conversation, with Hansen's comments echoed by New Zealand great Christian Cullen on Tuesday.

Hooper said he would welcome a trial of the rugby league-like system, and said it could help reduce the pressure on referees to make a snap decision on a particular incident.

“I'm not opposed to it at all,” he said.

“I think it could be a good thing, maybe something to trial and maybe take a leaf out of rugby league's book there.

“It's obviously a thing that's going to (cause) change because it hasn't been like that for a long time but it'd be interesting to see how it goes.

“The tough thing with review, as always, and the heat of the moment is your slow-mos and what happens and actually breaking down why things happen.

“That's where a review system could be important.”

Hooper said no matter what system was relied on, player safety had to be the first concern.

“I think player welfare's at the peak of this and that should be paramount for everything, with largely red cards, it's usually due to that sort of thing,” he said.

“It's probably for a longer chat to really break it down but player safety's at the top and if that can help that, then I'm for it.”

Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu said he was content with the current TMO and cards system, as long as there was consistency.

“I don't honestly look into that too much,” he said.

“I've had a red and a few yellows in my time.

“It's hard - you've got the TMO there that's kind of like a third pair of eyes - he can actually go back and review and replay and keep replaying to make a decision to confirm what the referees are sort of saying.

“I think that's enough really, but it's more the consistency of it and how they want to do the ruling.

"It's out of my hands and you just want to play the game where you're not in those situations, you don't put your team in those situations.”

Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham queried some of Ireland’s tactics earlier this week, but Hooper said it was up to the team to overcome Ireland’s defensive tactics.

“We've got to find a way to get those guys... into the game,” he said.

“We didn't do that on the weekend for other reasons, reasons that are within our control and that's the focus for us.

“When a team focuses so much on Izzy, but the great thing is it opens up a lot for other players.”

The Wallabies take on Ireland in the third June Test on Saturday June 23, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.