Does that mean who are below par?
I've been able to watch every game so far except for one and half of another. I caught those on the radio. I think it's clear most teams are playing or have played well below what they're capable of. I'm not convinced by any team yet.
I'll also clear up that I don't believe inconsistency is the same as non competitive. This year's comp is clearly very competitive so far. Just ask anyone trying to tip it.
One thing that is missing from this argument is the new rules , and I believe that they have radically changed the landscape and the shape of the NRL, the apparent inconsistencies and upsets are primarily driven by the rules in my humble opinion.
i haven't see a more uncertain interpretation of a rule revolution since the switch from the five meter rule.
Even Refs are struggling , their instinct is to not allow the quick tap....and we're seeing pedantic rulings which go entirely against the quick tap concept.
Some teams are adjusting to the rules better than others , largely because the rules suit the type of roster they have and you have to factor in some reluctance from last years most successful teams to go away from what was working for them.
The smaller forward packs are finding themselves competitive against the big boys off the back of seven tackle options and sped up play.
The Roosters Manly game was the exception that proves the rule....two teams with big packs sticking to their keep it tight systems from 2013.
Put the Roosters against the Broncos who have adapted to the new rules well ( Small pack , interchangeable Prop/ secound rower types ) and we see the Bronco's go close to beating the Roosters.
The Tigers Rabbitohs game is the strongest argument for the point I'm trying to paint here , the Tigers mobile pack out played the biggest forward pack in the comp because of the way the new rules change the fifth tackle kicks to keeping the ball in play......end to end scramble.......
It's early days , too early to judge how permanent the new rules effect will determine what player prototype survives.
But things are leaning towards change....the same change that saw the ten meter rule make the George Roses of the comp a rarity......there was a time every team had a George rose , Marty Bella , Steve Roach , Sam Backo.
Seven tackles is the type of evolution that a team like the Warriors " The greatest Rugby league Circus you have ever seen " according to Vossy....will thrive under.
The dragons with their tiny lean mobile forwards are winning the NRL under the new rules while others have to make an adjustment.
Edited by mt smart, 01 April 2014 - 03:32 AM.