The NRL is reportedly considering another hasty change to the six-again rule in response to recent criticism of teams exploiting it to their advantage.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the NRL is considering extending games past the 80-minute mark in an attempt to stop teams from intentionally giving away set restarts in the dying stages of games as the clock winds down.

The possible change will be properly assessed during the off-season, with an aim of bringing it in for the 2023 season.

While the six-again rule has received its fair share of criticism and changes since implementation, the focus on its impact at the end of close games was thrust into the spotlight following the St George Illawarra Dragons’ controversial Round 16 win over the Canberra Raiders.

Ben Hunt was seen as the primary culprit in St George Illawarra's controversial late win over Canberra at WIN Stadium in Round 16. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The final stages of that game saw the Dragons intentionally give away multiple set restarts on their defensive line as the clock ticked over and they clung to a two-point lead, clearly exploiting the rule to their benefit and denying the Raiders any chance of victory.

Under the proposed change, teams in possession could be allowed to play out their entire set of six tackles even if the game clock expires. The half or game will only end once the team in possession has finished their attacking set or lost the ball.

It’s not the first time the rule has been amended since it was initially brought in during the initial stages of the pandemic in 2020. Regular communication with clubs has resulted in tweaks to stop teams exploiting ‘workarounds’.

The proposed rule change has been met with some criticism, with Paul Kent claiming on NRL 360 that the change wouldn’t be needed if referees would just make the right decision.

“This is what happens in rugby league. Someone will make a mistake like the referees the other night, which the NRL conceded,” Kent said.

“Rather than say ‘mate, get it right next time’, we come up with a rule to try and use as a safety net… and we have no idea where the bubble in the carpet is going to pop up next.

“We keep bastardising the rules and we don’t know where we’re going to end up. We are turning the sport into a circus.”