NRL’s plan to make the game great again
LET us entertain you.
The biggest names and sharpest brains in rugby league will meet next week to explore ways to make rugby league more innovative, exciting and easier to referee.
The powerful 12-member NRL competition committee will gather next Thursday for an open forum at which most discussion points are expected to come from the floor.
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Key issues expected to be raised include:
● An amendment to golden point similar to the NFL's policy, where if the first team scores with a field goal, the other team is also given the chance to score. In NFL if the first team scores with a touchdown the game is over, It is hoped in the NRL this would promote the scoring of tries, not just field goals;
● Scrap golden point for 10 minutes of extra-time (five minutes each way);
● Changing the rule regarding an on-field trainer being struck by the ball - as occurred in the grand final;
● Whether trainers are on the field too often and too long;
● The reintroduction of a five-minute sin bin;
● Revisiting the on-field captain's challenge.
The competition committee includes commissioners Peter V'landys, Peter Beattie and Wayne Pearce, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg, head of football Graham Annesley, former coach John Lang, current NRL coaches Ivan Cleary and Paul Green, Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, RLPA representative Clint Newton, former star player Darren Lockyer and NRL general manager of elite officiating, Bernard Sutton.
The NRL has accepted input from clubs, the RLPA and a fan survey, which attracted 20,000 respondents.
One committee member said: "It's about discussing issues in the game to make it more attractive.
"There may be changes that are recommended or everyone may well be happy with the product we already have.
"It's a blank canvass. Everything is on the table. Let's just see where the chat takes us.
"I guess our main charter on the committee at this meeting will be to try and make the game more innovative and entertaining."
Any recommendations, if they are reached, would have to be approved by the ARL Commission. Essentially, the meeting will review the entire season.
Some of the committee members are content with golden point, while others believe the NFL version is solid because it allows both sides to have the ball in extra time. That means securing repeat sets and kicking a field goal wouldn't be enough to win.
Sydney Roosters trainer Travis Touma was hit with the ball during a significant moment in the grand final which is certain to draw discussion about how the incident could be prevented in the future.
On-field trainers are a major gripe of most fans but experts claim players need medical officials on the field as much as possible.
The ARL Commission started a two-day meeting in Penrith on Wednesday to discuss strategy.