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IT'S MY VIEW: Let's all have a lie down!
10:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in Wolves
NOW here’s an idea!
Let’s scrap proposals for a new structure in rugby league and just stick with 10-second play-the-balls.
Lying all over the tackled player and ignoring the referee’s call to ‘move’ is increasing and certainly achieving one of the desired outcomes of a restructure – closer games with an unpredictability factor.
These thoughts are not sour grapes based upon Wolves’ recent shock loss to Widnes Vikings, although Phil Joseph and company were allowed to make a mockery of interference infringement rulings on that occasion.
This is about my hope that something is done quickly to save the entertainment factor in elite level rugby league.
Many have pointed to the weather and those slippery ‘Rhino’ balls as being reasons behind the drab Wolves versus Vikings ‘derby’ of two weeks ago and the weekend’s worst Challenge Cup Final in memory.
Another common factor of those games was referee Phil Bentham, who showed little interest in penalising teams for lying on.
He is not the only match official displaying such leniency recently, and his bosses must be happy with his performances to have awarded him the Wembley showpiece, but the result is not pretty.
Not only do you end up with spectators having to endure 10 seconds of wrestle mania after every tackle, you end up with a slug-fest – two teams trying to barge their way to the other end of the field and then kicking.
Expansive play goes out of the window and those who try to force the issue due to frustration end up making a glut of handling errors. Sound familiar?
There is no space to exploit, no holes in the line to attack because defenders have had all the time in the world to set themselves in correct positions.
Perhaps the RFL is happy with this, it makes matches closer, but at what expense?
Those exciting teams capable of playing at 100 miles per hour are being stifled by the referee’s game management.
If this is the way forward, punishing the quality sides for their progressive work while rewarding those of lesser ability, the only winner will be boredom.
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