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News NRL consider 7 tackle sets for kicking into touch.

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The rule change set to transform the NRL kicking game forever​

By Adrian Proszenko

August 27, 2021 — 5.00am

Kicks which find touch during play will result in the opposition receiving a seven-tackle set under a proposed new rule change that could be trialled as soon as next week.

The NRL’s innovation committee will convene early next week to discuss the impact of recent rule changes and consider whether any other tweaks could further improve the spectacle.

The Herald can reveal the main agenda item will be whether all kicks in general play that find touch - with the exception of the 40-20 and the seldom-used 20-40 - will result in a seven-tackle set to the opposition. The initiative, which could be road-tested for the first time in the round 25 clash between Canterbury and Wests Tigers, has the potential to totally revolutionise the kicking game.

The idea is the brainchild of innovation committee chairman Wayne Pearce, who believes it could result in more ball-in-play time by discouraging the traditional touch-finder kicks that are often used to slow down the game.

“At the moment, when a ball gets kicked into touch, there’s a turnover and the team can have it in the middle of the field or wherever they want to have it,” Pearce told the Herald.
“My view is that there’s a difference between a player running into touch - whether it be trying to score a try or whatever - and a player deliberately kicking into touch to slow the play down. Sometimes players can’t help going into touch or the ball getting passed into touch, but if the ball is deliberately kicked into touch, then there should be some sort of disincentive. This is only my view - and I haven’t run it past the innovation committee yet - is that we would restart with a seven-tackle set. That then becomes consistent if you kick the ball dead-in-goal. So rather than dead-in-goal, the whole perimeter of the field - if the ball gets kicked out of bounds - then there’s a seven-tackle restart. It disincentivises some of the teams from kicking into touch and trying to get a slow restart.”

The governing body often uses matches in the final round of the regular season, if they have no consequence on the finals race, to pressure-test rule change. That was the case last year when referees were asked to adjudicate on tries without going to the bunker, giving the video reviewers until the conversion is about to be taken to overturn the decision. The trial was deemed successful and has since been implemented on a full-time basis this year.

Previously, the captain’s challenge was also trialled in the last round of the season in matches that had no bearing on the top eight.

If the innovation committee gives the trial the green light, it would draw additional interest to a Tigers-Bulldogs encounter that will have little bearing on where the teams finish on the competition ladder.

“Effectively, it’s like the 20-metre tap restart [for kicks that go beyond the in-goal] - teams hate that because the extra tackle means a significant difference to where the play will end up on the last tackle,” Pearce explained.
“It’s not something that pops its head up in many games anyway, there might be games where they don’t kick the ball into touch. Some teams use it as a ploy because they think ‘we can slow it down and get our defence set.’”

The current seven-tackle set is colloquially known as the “Billy Slater rule”, introduced to stop teams kicking the ball dead intentionally to avoid having to defend the champion fullback’s kick returns from broken play. The latest rule variation may result in even more fatigue given kickers won’t be able to wind down the clock by kicking away from the back three and into touch.

The NRL have attempted to innovate with a series of rule changes in recent seasons, most notably by reverting to one referee and introducing the six-again call for most infringements. Pearce felt those innovations had the desired effect of making the game faster and more attractive, and that any further changes would only be minor.

“The main point is we made a lot of significant changes and we’re moving into a consolidation phase,” said the former Balmain forward, who is a member of the Australian Rugby League Commission.
“There is no doubt the game flows a lot better than it had when the wrestle was in, that’s for sure.
I can’t see the sense in change for change’s sake. That’s why we might run with the one trial and see how that goes because the feedback has been pretty good over the changes we’ve brought in over the last couple of years.”

One rule the innovation committee considered changing in recent seasons was allowing the try-scoring team to kick off at the restart. However, that tweak isn’t currently on the agenda.

“One of the things we don’t want to do is change the essence of what the game is about and that would significantly change the spirit of the game,” Pearce said.
“For example, we haven’t got rid of the scrums; what we’ve done is we’ve reduced the number of scrums, which increases the flow of the game. We’re conscious of the tradition and the history of the game. We don’t want to tamper with that.
 
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LEAVE THE GAME ALONE FFS! Don't these dickheads realise they are actually killing the game with stupid rule changes.

If you want to change some rules (in order to quantify your lofty yearly salary or to give yourselves something to do), do this:
- Get rid of scrums completely.
- Remove the repeat set rule and bring back penalties.
- Enforce a strick 3 penalties in a row and someone gets binned policy.
- Relax the "high tackle" rule to exclude where arm bounces up or player crouches.
- For kicking over dead ball line, increase the restart to 30m and leave the 7 tackle set.
- Change rule so the team that scores, kicks off to restart play (rather than getting the ball back).
 

Old Woof Woof

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Adding this rule into the NRL will be the death nell for the game. May as well get rid of scrums for starters then . We dont need the game to speed up anymore than it does. Men are not machines the speed of the game today is already causing headaches for clubs with players being injured and sidelined for weeks or maybe months or at worse the season.
Scrums under current rules are a joke. Very rarely are they won against the feed or the other team pushes the attacking side off the ball to win the scrum and thus they are predicatable and ineffective so why even bother with them at all today.
 

Old Woof Woof

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Adding this rule into the NRL will be the death nell for the game. May as well get rid of scrums for starters then . We dont need the game to speed up anymore than it does. Men are not machines the speed of the game today is already causing headaches for clubs with players being injured and sidelined for weeks or maybe months or at worse the season.
Scrums under current rules are a joke. Very rarely are they won against the feed or the other team pushes the attacking side off the ball to win the scrum and thus they are predicatable and ineffective so why even bother with them at all today.

Unlimited interchanges may have to accompany it.
then we would end up like American gridiron bring on a player hit someone then get sent off or one who comes on kicks the goal then goes back off again. Why not have toilet breaks for players that need to go to the loo so they can get a kiss from anyone they fancy and elevate the testestorone levels
 

Nathan Higgins

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Illustrates my point why the 7 set idea wouldn't work.
They would be required to address fatigue for player health/safety reasons.
 
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Illustrates my point why the 7 set idea wouldn't work.
They would be required to address fatigue for player health/safety reasons.
All fun and games tilll someone has a heart attack on field during a live telecast, and the NRL are answering questions re duty of care and the speed of the game.
 

Howard Moon

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Kicking for touch/field position is such a big part of the game as far as tactics are concerned and it's actually one thing that Thurston did well for us that was part of the reason he was being talked about so much.. getting those balls to go over just before the in goal consistently is not a skill you develop over night.. honestly the sooner V'lad and his team of buffoons are out, the better
 

Nathan Higgins

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Two balls!
Primary ball is worth more points for a try and conversion and you can only score with one before resetting back to one ball.
 

Howard Moon

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The amount of times you see a second ball on the field after a kick for touch I wouldn't be surprised if it's given V'landys ideas
 

Nathan Higgins

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...but still only one ref, who can stop play for one ball, yet the other still remains live.
 

Old Woof Woof

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...but still only one ref, who can stop play for one ball, yet the other still remains live.
maybe the ladies should decide on this one should there be two balls or one ? and shoudl the female linesperson be allowed to handle them
 

Old Woof Woof

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Takes on a completely different context for ball boys in future. Maybe the balls are not all they are cracked up to be . Remember years ago they changed the manufacturing company whom supplied the balls and all the teams were complaining about dropped balls cos they couldnt hang on to them. They did consider wearing grip gloves until they realised that the lock was always stuck to the second rowers butt. Talk about a hands on job.
 
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How about for half the game, half the team plays blindfolded, and then they swap at half time.

FIRST HALF: One team has players 1 to 6 blindfolded. The other has players 7 to 13.
SECOND HALF: They swap.

4 interchanges allowed a game and they are not blindfolded, but cannot play more than 10 minutes at a time.

Two balls!
Primary ball is worth more points for a try and conversion and you can only score with one before resetting back to one ball.
DON'T ENCOURAGE THEM LOL!!!!
 

Nathan Higgins

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Above just shows that us supporters are more competent than those running the show.
An impromptu thinktank online and we've already multiple ways to totally fuck up the game!

PS a few more ideas...
1. A hoop instead of a bar between the sticks.
- Kick into from above during a conversion for double points.
10 for a field goal.
- 2 in general play which doubles for each 10m zone away from it, so ½ way is 32 points.
2. Half the team must be females and they can only be tagged, not tackled.
3. All mascots must be feminine.
4. Major sponsor must be gambling or female oriented product.
 

Old Woof Woof

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oops i must be going blind Nathan i thought idea number 2 1/2 read females can only be shagged not tackled lol i should have gone to specsaves lol
 

Howard Moon

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I saw somebody mention that now the game has sped up they should bring back the second ref, and I have to agree.. I mentioned in the finals series thread that 50/50s went both ways but also many calls missed for both teams. You see it most games
 
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