Former long-time NRL referee Bernard Sutton has joined Melbourne Storm as a technical consultant as the reigning premiers look to continue to improve their on-field discipline this season, as well as adapt to the new laws to be introduced in 2021.
Sutton has recently stepped down from his position as the NRL’s General Manager Elite Officiating – a role he filled for the past three seasons.
He began his career as an NRL referee in 2007 and has also held referee coaching and management roles at the NRL since 2013.
Storm General Manager – Football Frank Ponissi said Sutton’s experience with rugby league’s laws and how they’re implemented at the elite level would assist the club in improving an area that had been highlighted during post-season reviews.
“It will be a positive for our club to tap into Bernard’s expertise and experience to have him available to help us continue to improve our on-field discipline,” Ponissi said.
We are always looking at those one percenters and what we can do to make ourselves better. Reducing the number of penalties we concede is one area we have targeted for improvement - as is adapting to the new laws to be introduced in 2021.Frank Ponissi General Manager - Football
“Bernard will working directly with our coaches in a role that’s very similar that we had another ex-NRL referee Adam Devcich fill with us in 2019.
“He won’t be at training but he’ll be available remotely for Craig and our assistant coaches to use for guidance and advice as the season progresses.”