Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'Landys has unloaded at all 16 NRL clubs, threatening them with sin bins and other on-field action if the ruck continues to be slowed down.
The opening weeks of the season, under a change of rule which is now seeing penalties blown inside a team's own 40-metre zone rather than a six again for ruck infringements and offsides, has seen a reduction in the pace of play.
Referees seem to have gone away from calling six agains as a general rule, with many games only seeing a small handful, as compared to last year when it was the norm to see them handed out.
V'Landys has accused the competition's teams of spoiling the game though and promised a crackdown when speaking to The Daily Telegraph, with a meeting on Tuesday of the commission to demand answers from coaches over why wrestling has been brought back into the game.
“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 publication.
“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."
While penalty counts have gone up on the back of the rule change, six agains have fallen, and stats confirm the pace of play has significantly slowed down with referees not handing out six agains.
Blowout scorelines have also reduced in another revelation that the new rule, while working for its intended purpose, is not being backed up by the correct calling of six agains, with consistency also seemingly going out the back window.