Referees wired up for TV comments

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northern rail cup: For the first time, television viewers will be able to listen to video referees during Co-op Championship games this season, writes Dave Craven.

The announcement was made at the competition’s 2012 launch in Manchester yesterday and it is hoped it could bring clearer understanding to controversial calls.

Premier Sports are the competition’s new broadcast partners and they will open the campaign with Batley Bulldogs’ match at Leigh on Thursday when the link-up will get its first airing.

“The RFL match officials have worked closely with our production team to help enable us to bring this latest innovation to the sport,” said their head of operations Richard Webb.

“We hope that rugby league fans, who have always been passionate and knowledgeable about their sport, will enjoy the extra clarity this will bring to the decision-making process of the match officials and enhance the viewing spectacle.”

However, first comes the final round of Northern Rail Cup pool games as clubs compete to reach the quarter-finals.

Batley head to Featherstone Rovers tomorrow with both sides protecting 100 per cent records after three successive wins.

Halifax can still progress if they win at London Skolars.

Similarly, victory for Keighley Cougars versus Oldham should see them into the last eight but Dewsbury – who host Rochdale – only have a slim chance.

Hunslet Hawks have lost Stuart Kain (broken jaw) for up to three months ahead of a crucial game with Doncaster.