Rule Changes In Rugby League: Good Or Bad Idea?

 

The recent Boxing Day fixtures saw three new rule changes trialed  but are they good or bad changes, and will they add anything to the game should they be implemented?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

1) Attacking teams can choose to have five men in the scrum.

This will increase attacking options and should see more tries scored on the first tackle following the scrum. On the other side of the coin sides with weaker defences will suffer more and the rule change could lead to more cricket scores, which may make the game look unappealing to would-be fans if the games don’t appear to be competitive.

 

2) When a kick is charged down the tackle count is no longer wiped clean.

I’m totally in favour of this as it rewards teams with a good defence, plus the previous/current ruling is very subjective.

 

3) A kick from a player from inside his own half that goes dead behind the in-goal area will now result in a tap restart for the opposition on the 40m line and not the 20m line.

I’m also in favour of this rule as it, once again, rewards teams with a strong defence and may help prevent the negative tactic of deliberately kicking the ball dead in order to slow the game down and allow the attacking team to set their defence up.

 

Whilst it is impossible to gauge the effectiveness of the rule changes over just two matches, in theory they should add something to the game and improve it. I’d definitely welcome rules 2 & 3 into the game, but would had some reservations about rule 1 until we have seen it in action more.

Rugby League has never been afraid to change something if the sport will benefit from it, so let’s go ahead and give these new rules a go, if only for one season, to see how they work.

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