A Cronulla Sharks victory over the Warriors on the weekend settled this season’s Top 8 with two rounds to play, leaving four sides six points out of the top half of the ladder.
While placing in the eight is still dependant on the final two rounds, it renders all games between bottom eight sides as meaningless, dead rubbers, nada.
Across the next fortnight, there’s three clashes that are irrelevant in terms of the top eight, which are:
– Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs. Gold Coast Titans @ Lottoland
– New Zealand Warriors vs. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles @ Central Coast Stadium
With no sides featuring any mathematical chance of playing finals football, should we start trialling ‘new rules’ across the dead rubbers?
Here’s some potential rule changes the NRL could implement across these three sides:
It’s highly unlikely one of the three games are extended beyond the 80 minute mark, but if they are, why not trial golden try to end the debate?
Since golden point’s inception, people have cried about its unfairness. Some say both sides deserve a point, some believe a full ten minutes of extra time should be played out, and some believe in golden try.
Basically, the game goes to extra time and the first team to score a try is deemed the winner, for those unaware. No try scored by the ten minute mark results in a draw.
This is a rule previously trialled in the Nines, to some success. Instead of the ‘advantage’ rule after a knock on, sides get a ‘free play’.
Once the attacking team knocks on and the defending side collects the ball, the team with the ball has a play where an error wouldn’t result in turning the ball over.
It promotes attacking football, with sides more likely to put in a zero tackle kick, adventurous passes, if the team hangs on to the ball at the end of the play, the set continues where tackled.
If they make an error during their free play or turn it over, they still retain the ball, however the set will begin where the opposing side knocked on.
TWO CHALLENGES, NO BUNKER
This is as simple as you like. The Bunker will never exist without controversy, so give the boys with the buttons a rest for three games, instead adding a second challenge for each team.
One per half, and like the existing captain’s challenge, if you challenge a decision and get it wrong, you lose your ability to challenge. However, instead of losing it for the entire game, you lose it for that half.
For example, if a side challenges a decision early in the first half and get it wrong, they will be unable to challenge for the remainder of that half, however they will be regain a challenge at the beginning of the second half.
If a side gets all first half challenges correct or doesn’t challenge a decision in the first half, they will still only have one second half challenge.
It’ll encourage referees, especially after cutting back to one ref from two, to back their decision making.
NO BACKS IN SCRUMS
Scrums are on their death bed in rugby league, this could bring back some spark. We’ve already seen scrum rules shift this year with teams now able to choose where on the field they’d like the scrum, to increase set plays off the scrum.
So why not ban backs in scrums? It’s been floated already but not allowing the speed men to pack into the scrum would mean no ‘one off’ hit-ups from a prop or lock at first receiver.
With three dead rubbers to play, what better opportunity to trial these rule tweaks than now? Peter V’Landys seems trigger happy with these quick changes to improve the game, so why not?
Do you agree with the floated rule changes? What would you tweak in today’s game? Let us know below in the comments.