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No talkies with referees fine with Ennis

Serial pest Michael Ennis says he welcomes moves by the NRL to prevent captains continually questioning refereeing decisions.
No talkies with referees fine with Ennis
by AAP

By James Macsmith

SYDNEY, February 28 AAP - Serial pest Michael Ennis says he welcomes moves by the NRL to prevent captains continually questioning refereeing decisions.

As part of a crackdown on endemic time wasting, the NRL has ushered in a new law this year that allows captains to only speak with referees when there is a break in play.

Along with Manly captain Jamie Lyon, Canterbury skipper Ennis has earned a reputation as a seasoned debater with the on-field referees.

Opportunities for captains to speak with referees will be severely limited in 2014 and beyond to when tries are scored, an injury break or when the referee is issuing a caution.

But Ennis says he's happy with the change.

"I think it is actually a good thing because we are trying to obviously make the game the best product it can be," Ennis said.

"If that is part and parcel of what is going to make it better, then definitely (make the change).

"You learn and you grow into the captaincy roles and I think I have certainly learnt a lot over the past few years on how to handle situations as best as possible.

"To be honest, I have a pretty good relationship with a lot of the referees.

"They are trying to do their best and so are we.

"I will take it as it comes but I think it will be a good thing for the game.

"That is how I found it in the trials."

Referees will be instructed to wave away captains who attempt to talk to them at restricted times and NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said players who insist on flouting the rule will leave their team at a significant disadvantage.

"If there is a captain trying to do that, he won't be in the defensive line and the ball will be in play, so the attacking team has the chance to take the tap and go," Greenberg said.

"So if that captain is trying to talk, he is going to be well out of the defensive line and he will be leaving his team to 12.

"I think you will find captains will very quickly get the message they need to play the game rather than talk to the referee."

"The response (to the new law) has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Fans, coaches and players don't like when a team gets a penalty and the opposition captain comes forward to slow the game down.

"Quite simply it's a tactic."


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