Sharks face West Tigers in restart

Happy: Sharks coach John Morris said the early games will be focused on the Sharks team-Bronson Xerri is right to play. Picture: John Veage
Happy: Sharks coach John Morris said the early games will be focused on the Sharks team-Bronson Xerri is right to play. Picture: John Veage

After more than two months of no game time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next two rounds of the NRL season have been announced after the last whistle was blown on March 22.

Cronulla and Wests Tigers will face off on Saturday, May 30 in the NRL restart at 5.30pm with venues yet to be allocated; however the Sharks are hoping Jubilee Oval will be in the mix.

In round four, the Sharks will play the Cowboys on June 6 at 7.30pm in their first Queensland game for the season.

Round four will feature three matches played in Queensland with the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans all hosting clubs from NSW.

The remainder of the draw for the 2020 season is expected to be finalised in the coming week, with details of the round three and four matches also expected.

Coach John Morris said it would be nice to know where the team will be playing, but he is happy to be up and running.

" I don't think the early rounds will be about the opposition. It will be about working on our team structures and getting the boys going again and getting off to a good start."

"We will be focusing on the Sharks," he said

In another bombshell the ARL Commission has agreed to adopt a one-referee rule for the remainder of the 2020 season-the NRL is the only rugby league competition in the world that uses two referees.

Under the changes, full-time referees will also be used as touch judges to increase the experience in touchline officiating.

In tandem with the return to a single referee - which was how the game was officiated before 2009 - is a "six-again" rule allowing an attacking team another full set rather than stopping play for a penalty.

Morris said he supports the game and the innovations they are trying to get back up and running.

"I think its a brave move by Peter V'landy's to listen to the fans, I'm a little bit surprised its been introduced in this time we have been off, but it's in now and it's up to us to support it.

"They want to bring back the free-flowing Rugby League. We've all had our gripes with the wrestle that's been in the game over the last five to ten years" Morris said

"The rule change for the six again is the real issue, that's something that we are not used to."

Sharks senior players Aaron Woods prefers the two referee's, but he was happy to get the Telstra Premiership restarted.

"I want to go out there and play footy whether it's one ref or two refs. But obviously, you want two refs as that's what we practised all pre-season."Woods said

"But it is what it is if we have to go to one ref. Poor old Peter V'landys is working 23 hours a day to get the show up and running. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

" In the end, I just want to go out there and play some good footy."

At the end of the year, the Commission will review the one-referee model to determine whether it remains a permanent fixture.