That 40/20 rule with the 'quick' restart is pointless. Hardly anyone ever manages to actually get a quick restart out of it, and as Phil Gould said in commentary, what exactly was wrong with having a scrum? But blaming a ball boy for throwing the ball to the player instead of placing the ball on the ground is just a joke.
I think all the AFL teams in Melbourne play their games out of 2 grounds, which I believe are pretty central, which gives them an advantage. In Sydney, I thought the SFS was a good ground for RL, but there's no trains out that way. As LRL says, ANZ is just too big for most of the games they play there. The suburban grounds I saw left a fair bit to be desired.
I also think the NRL are also still too much tied down by the TV contract. Monday night games are a good example. TV loves them but the crowds are generally poor. The AFL tried Sunday night games this year for TV, and after a 'disappointing' crowd of 40,000 they canned them. Even if the NRL wanted to change time slots, they can't.
Might be wrong here, but don't Fiji lose out in this rankings system simply because they don't actually play that often? If the rankings are weighted to results of the last 3 years, it would include France's wins over Wales in 2012 and the 2011 games over Ireland and Scotland. Before last years WC, Fiji hadn't really done much for a few years.