NRL Rd 3 - Cowboys v Titans
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29: Valentine Holmes of the Cowboys passes the ball during the round three NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans at QCB Stadium on May 29, 2020 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Queensland stars Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and Valentine Holmes have urged the NRL to not mess with the pace of play after Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys threatened action against all 16 clubs earlier this week.

V'Landys, seemingly frustrated by the pace of play and coaches allowing wrestling to creep back into the game, threatened the clubs with the fact six agains would increase in the coming weeks.

Referees, while blowing plenty of penalties to teams coming out of their own 40-metre zone after a slight tweak to the rules this year, have been less consistent in calling six agains for infringements committed in the other 60 metres of the field.

V'Landys said earlier this week that the game wasn't going to tolerate wrestling or intentional slowing down of the ruck.

“We are putting the coaches and players on notice – don’t think that because you’ve got away with it over the last couple of rounds that you will get away with it for the rest of the year,” V’landys told The Daily Telegraph on Monday.

“They’re on notice - we will give ‘six agains’ when players are wrestling and trying to slow down the ruck. If they continually breach and slow down the ruck – and spoil the game for the fans – then players will be sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

“We’re not going to tolerate the wrestle or slowing down the ruck. I’ve been monitoring this for the last couple of weeks and the wrestle is starting to creep back in and the ruck is slowly down."

NRL Press Conference

It has brought about a drop in form for last year's Dally M Medalist Tom Trbojevic, among other stars who thrived on the faster pace of play.

It comes amid reports a select number of coaches have complained to the NRL over the pace of play, believing it is hampering their team's efforts to win games.

Despite that, the average winning margin is well down on last year, with NRL data revealing the ball is still in play as much as it was last year over the opening four rounds.

Gold Coast Titans captain Fa'asuamaleaui however said the pace of play feels the same as last year, telling reporters there is no need to change anything.

"No, no way. (The speed) is good the way it is," Fa'asuamaleaui said on Tuesday.

"It's a tough game and it's still fast. Fans are still enjoying it, I don't think there needs to be a crackdown. It's still fast.

"It feels the same as last year. Quick-as in our games so far.

"I guess people are just saying that just because of the new penalty inside that 40 but apart from that the game's still so fast."

Holmes agreed with his Queensland State of Origin teammate, saying it was the same as last year.

"It's definitely the same," Holmes said.

"Nothing really has changed too much besides penalty coming out of your own end, but now everything seems pretty good."

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