It’s easy to pick on referees and sporting officials, lord knows they deserve it when they stuff your team around, although supporting Souths we wish to get within a poor refereeing decision at the moment.
The introduction of the NRL Bunker was done with much fanfare, and was well received initially, but it looks like the turd has run out of polish and we are back to usual. And the complaints and fines from the NRL HQ have begun.
Could we do better? Of course not. It’s not easy otherwise there’d be plenty more people lining up to be abused and analysed each weekend. But that won’t stop us suggesting a few tweaks to the rules to consider that may make the game more enjoyable and easier for officials*.
* not a guarantee.
Here’s six of our “best” suggestions.
1 – SIN BIN CHANGES
Sin Bin for Professional Foul reduced to 5 minutes + A Player placed on Report put in Sin Bin for 5 minutes. 10 minutes is far too long for players to spend in the Sin Bin for holding a player down for a fraction too long after a break away or the other pissweak excuses of professional foul. Surely belting another player around the head or dumping them in a spear tackle is a worse crime. Sometimes the offence placed on report costs the opposition a player, yet the team that is rewarded is the team who they player in the subsequent weeks of suspension. Maybe with the cloud of a 5 minute stint on the sideline for any reportable offence hanging over players, they may well think about the consequences before going for a tackle, and it may end up cleaning up the game. Otherwise it’s business as usual and we then let the NRL Judiciary apply their famously consistent penalties with 87.4 carry points considered for an early guilty plea.
2 – ON FIELD DECISIONS AND TV REPLAYS
If a try has been awarded without any Bunker interference, then TV is not allowed to show any slow motion replays. Replay sure, but no slow mo. Why would an official give a decision without video backup if the decision is going to be analysed within an inch of it’s life on TVs around the country and at the ground. That could stop every decision going upstairs.
3 – SCRUMS
Scrums are really a waste of time, and unfortunately long gone are the days of a contested scrum, although given the joys of watching rugby union pack and re-pack and penalise a scrum it may not be a bad thing. Since contested scrums won’t happen how about forcing them to actually run the ball from the scrum. We are told that the reason we don’t get rid of scrums is so teams can run plays, but at the high end of 90%+ is always seems to go to the first available big man hiding in the backline, and a regular forward hit up ensues. So we say – get rid of scrums for a quick tap 15m in field or enforce minimum of two or three passes from the scrum. Non compliance result in a differential penalty. Another potential bonus would be the excitement of the defensive opposition trying to stop a team from their second or third pass or some panicked attempts to make that pass leading to mistakes.
4 – PENALISE PLAYERS KICKING THE BALL AWAY
Shot Clocks probably wouldn’t be needed if players were stopped kicking the ball away. It’s a “crime” that earns a Yellow Card in Football/Soccer.
5 – LIMIT NUMBER OF TACKLERS IN OPPOSITION’S ATTACKING HALF
A crazy idea yes, but this could allow teams more room to move in the attacking half of the field, and reduce the tedious 50-50 knock on/strips that ruin the flow of the game or usually lead to the awful injuries to attacking players when three behemoths all land of them. Whilst the team are still trying to get out of their own half, have no limit to amount of tacklers, but once the halfway is crossed it’s just the two. This would make the race for the 50 metre line more interesting than ever, as defensive teams attempt to keep the other team within the 50m and attacking teams the opposite. Of course the question would be raised what would happen in a tackle that goes over the 50 – that’s easy – it is from initial contact. Simples.
6 – IF A PLAYER LAYS DOWN FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS LOOKING FOR PENALTY THEN THEY HAVE TO HAVE A MADATORY 60 COOL DOWN PERIOD OFF THE FIELD
With the focus on concussions, players laying down to obtain a penalty could lead to “wolf, Wolf” being cried with a genuine injury. With two on field referees, two sideline officials, and a bunker full of TV referees surely someone can see if there has been a high shot or not. We don’t want injured players getting up, just the play acting to stop or the referees to get in quicker, and not need the delay whilst a player is on the ground to make the decision. You never know, if the 1st option gets implemented, there may be less high shots anyway.