Woodsy Has Plan To Cut Out 'The Third Ref' Cameron Smith

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Woodsy Has Plan To Cut Out 'The Third Ref' Cameron Smith Getty Images

New South Wales prop Aaron Woods has called for referees to let their whistles do the talking, saying there should be less conversation between NRL players and officiators during games.

Singling out Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith, Woods said less dialogue between the two parties would limit the opportunities for gamesmanship and teach players to get on with it.

Smith, who on Saturday overtook Brisbane legend Darren Lockyer as the most-capped NRL player in history, can be seen in regular discussion with referees during games.

"A lot of people whinge about Cameron being the third ref - you wouldn't get that (if referees and players didn't engage in conversation)," Woods said on Fox Sports' NRL 360.

But Smith is not alone, with most NRL captains rushing at the chance to chat to the man with the whistle.

"As a player there's times you want to talk to the ref to slow the game down if you're under the pump," Woods explained.

"But when you're on a roll and you've got momentum, you don't want the refs talking at all.

"I wouldn't mind if they just blew a penalty and that's it, go back to your spot and get ready for the next set."

Debate has raged since losing Manly and Cronulla coaches Trent Barrett and Shane Flanagan used their weekend press conferences to criticise the referees.

Barrett, who was on Tuesday fined $20,000 by the NRL, suggested referees boss Tony Archer enter his dressing room and explain to his players how some decisions were reached.

Woods, who will play for Canterbury next season, said that approach would not work and that it was up to the players and coaches to be accountable for the result.

"I wouldn't want to see them; I'd probably be more filthy," he said.

"I applaud them for making the decision on the field, whether it's right or wrong.

"You're going to get some good ones some days, bad ones other days.

"It's just one minor part of the game, there's another 79 minutes where you could have won the game for your team."

Flanagan was fined $30,000 for his tirade on the officials, with both clubs given five business days to respond to the breach notices.

- AAP

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