I've been lurking around here for a while. I'm from Romania, not exactly a RL heartland, and I find Rugby League a fascinating concept of a sport, which provides good games more often than not.
I follow NRL games on their official livestream channel and keep myself updated on European (mainly British of course) rugby league from various sources. I generally like the balance provided in the rules, the 6-tackle rule is very challenging and makes for equal opportunities with the ball.
Still I feel the game can be upgraded, as it has always been creative in its approach and always dared to take radical ideas to heart. The play-the-ball is a quick and elegant way to restart play, for example, at the middle point between the messy rucks of Union and the elaborate snap formations of American football.
The rules as they stand now entice teams to a formulaic style of play. I'm going to risk being ridiiculed - after all this is only my 2nd post here - and post some ideas to bring back creative rugby without losing the fine balance between defense and attack. There I go:
- Ditch the scrum altogether. It looks ridiculous as it is, makes a joke of the classic Union scrum positions and the grouping of players is very rarely exploited anyway. Instead, when a knock-on or another scrum situation appears, make it a play-the-ball on the spot, with the tackle count starting at zero, thus giving the team an extra tackle to work with.
- Allow only two defensive players to be involved in a tackle. Three tacklers or more - instant penalty. Will make for easier play-the-balls, more offload opportunities, and bring back the skill in tackling, instead of four-player gang assaults.
- To balance this, bring the defense at 5 meters instead of the current 10. This will force the attacking team to try more creative strategies, and maybe you will see the return of chip-and-chase or high chase kicks on 2nd or 3rd tackle, and innovative passing plays looking for the line break.
- Borrow from Union the rule which prohibits kicking the ball dead, giving the defensive team a scrum from the spot of the kick. You can make it applicable from behind the defenders' 30 meters line, because a crossfield kick is one thing and a mindless booting of the ball away is a whole other thing.
- At the end of a half, allow the team in possesion to play on till they complete their set of tackles, if they so wish.
The game is pretty good as it stands, but I feel these ideas are worth debating. Rugby League kept reinventing itself and this doesn't have to stop.
Edited by Vasile Andreica, 25 July 2013 - 10:33 AM.