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Stirk

Play The Ball Fiasco

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Having watched 4 Games from the NRL and watching the 3rd from Super League this weekend. Three penalties given in total in NRL matches around the play the ball. And the abysmal cheating and penalties given in the super league games it is glaringly obvious that super league need to adopt two referees,  a proper play the ball,  with the foot, and to be penalised for stepping off the mark. And this needs adopting ASAP before the game is ruined completely! Just one problem? Where do we find the right  quality of referee? 

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7 minutes ago, Stirk said:

Having watched 4 Games from the NRL and watching the 3rd from Super League this weekend. Three penalties given in total in NRL matches around the play the ball. And the abysmal cheating and penalties given in the super league games it is glaringly obvious that super league need to adopt two referees,  a proper play the ball,  with the foot, and to be penalised for stepping off the mark. And this needs adopting ASAP before the game is ruined completely! Just one problem? Where do we find the right  quality of referee? 

Incompetent play-the-balls ruin the game as a visual product...it looks lawless,scrappy,careless and amateurish. 

The blame is with the administrators allowing the game to become shambolic in certain areas of play. It looks dreadful as it is currently allowed by referees.

Could be sorted out 100% with a directive from the powers that be.

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It seems the ref's have been told to give no leeway when it comes to players being in the ruck at the play the ball. I've seen so many penalties awarded recently where the tackler literally has no way of getting out of the way and the player deliberately plays the ball into them. It's not really in the spirit of the game. 

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I couldn't agree more about the abysmal play the balls in the UK game (used to be just Super League and bow it is pretty much universal). I find the NRL games so much better to watch and they just feel more like Rugby League to me because of their structure and adherence to a proper play the ball.

We cannot and should not blame the ref's. They are just interpreting the game as they are tasked. They could easily enforce a proper play the ball if we asked them to. It didn't arrive at this point over night and if you watch games from previous years you can see the gradual deterioration. 

I would be delighted if there were a clamp down on this area.

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Having watched the game for over 50 years! I agree with you, there have been good and bad years over time? But we now have a problem.  I have no particular allegiance to any team? But my patience has now  worn very thin to the state that I will turn to watching the NRL only. How many more will do the same?

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The annoying thing is a much cleaner play the ball is so easy to enforce, even with one referee, and we have done it before. The RFL should let it be known that any stepping off the mark and any failure to play the ball with your foot will be penalised. This should have been hammered home to clubs and players pre-season.

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18 minutes ago, Damien said:

The annoying thing is a much cleaner play the ball is so easy to enforce, even with one referee, and we have done it before. The RFL should let it be known that any stepping off the mark and any failure to play the ball with your foot will be penalised. This should have been hammered home to clubs and players pre-season.

Exactly, it is easy to do and we just need to support the initiative with a bit of patience as the ref's enforce it.

Funny how a player moving from Super League to the NRL can play the ball properly in their first match while the NRL imports suddenly forget.  It's not the players, it's what they are allowed to get away with.

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1 hour ago, Pigeon Lofter said:

Incompetent play-the-balls ruin the game as a visual product...it looks lawless,scrappy,careless and amateurish. 

The blame is with the administrators allowing the game to become shambolic in certain areas of play. It looks dreadful as it is currently allowed by referees.

Could be sorted out 100% with a directive from the powers that be.

Blame is with the players and coaches , bending the rules .

 

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3 minutes ago, henage said:

Blame is with the players and coaches , bending the rules .

 

If they got penalised every time they offended then it would change in an instant.

It's not as if the players can't heel the ball backwards,it's that they can't be bothered because there's no sanction.

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15 minutes ago, henage said:

Blame is with the players and coaches , bending the rules .

 

Players and coaches will push the rules as much as they can to try and win. They have always done this. It is up to the referees to enforce the rules.

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If the refs/touchies enforced the 10m then players wouldn't feel the need to not play the ball properly, they simply speed things up by rolling the ball through their legs knowing full well the defensive line is creeping up all the whilst.

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The whole idea in the NRL for having two referees was to deal with issues around the play the ball. We were going to have this in super league but it has been dropped on grounds of cost and also I suspect because there are not enough referees of sufficient quality.

https://www.skysports.com/rugby-league/news/12204/11659093/super-leagues-pla


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4 hours ago, Damien said:

Players and coaches will push the rules as much as they can to try and win. They have always done this. It is up to the referees to enforce the rules.

Maybe if the refs stopped calling the players by there 1st names it might give them a little more authority .

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The problem is two-fold:

1) Players in SL don’t stand up to play the ball. They simply place the ball and roll back as they’re standing. This is too quick and doesn’t allow the tackler to roll away. 

2) SL referees do not police the foot rolling the ball back. It’s laughable when the commentators tell Konrad Hurrell “Don’t worry about playing with your foot.”

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3 minutes ago, henage said:

Maybe if the refs stopped calling the players by there 1st names it might give them a little more authority .

Agreed. The use of “mate” and first names does not help create authority. 

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The rule used to say you didn't need to play the ball with your foot - merely attempt to do so.

Has it changed?


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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13 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

The rule used to say you didn't need to play the ball with your foot - merely attempt to do so.

Has it changed?

Here is the law regarding the play the ball from Rugby-league.com

It states that the ball shall be heeled back and (interestingly given the current interpretation) that the tackled player must not play the ball until the players effecting the tackle have had time to clear the ruck.

https://www.rugby-league.com/the_rfl/rules/laws_of_the_game/tackle__play_the_ball

10. The play-the-ball shall operate as follows.

Release tackled player immediately (a) The tackled player shall be immediately released and shall not be touched until the ball is in play.

Regain feet (b) The tackled player shall without delay regain his feet where he was tackled, lift the ball clear of the ground, face his opponent’s goal line and drop or place the ball on the ground in front of his foremost foot.

Player marking (c) One opponent may take up the position immediately opposite the tackled player.

(d) The tackled player may not play the ball before the players effecting the tackle have had time to clear the ruck.

Play with foot (e) When the ball touches the ground it must be heeled (i.e. backwards) by the tackled player. The ball must not be kicked or heeled by the player marking him. The ball is in play when it has been played backward.

Acting halfback (f) A player of each team, to be known as the acting halfback, may stand immediately and directly behind his own player taking part in the play-theball and must remain in this position, until the play-the-ball movement is complete.

Retire at play-the-ball (g) players of the side not in possession other than the player taking part in the play-the-ball and the acting half back are out of play if they fail to retire ten (10) metres from the point at which the ball is played or to their own goal lines. Players of the side in possession other than the player taking part in the play-the-ball and the acting halfback must retire behind their players involved in the play-the-ball or to their own goal line.

(h) having retired the distance prescribed in the preceding paragraph no player of the team not in possession may advance until the ball has cleared the ruck. A player who is out of play may again take part in the game when the advantage gained by not retiring has been lost.

Edited by Dunbar
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The not putting the foot on the ball doesn't really bother me as much as the blatant penalty milking by playing the ball at a player on the floor or throwing it at him to win a penalty.

Prime example is Ben Westwood having his knee on Thomas Leuluais head so he literally cannot get away then playing the ball right at him and getting a penalty. 

And don't even get me started on the farce of players just falling over people to win a penalty!

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9 minutes ago, YCKonstantine said:

The not putting the foot on the ball doesn't really bother me as much as the blatant penalty milking by playing the ball at a player on the floor or throwing it at him to win a penalty.

Prime example is Ben Westwood having his knee on Thomas Leuluais head so he literally cannot get away then playing the ball right at him and getting a penalty. 

And don't even get me started on the farce of players just falling over people to win a penalty!

I think they are all related though. If the tackled player regained his feet and played the ball with his foot it would also give the tacklers time to clear the ruck. It is just a mess all round today and we selectively penalise... essentially penalising players for not clearing the ruck when the laws state the tackled player has to wait for the tacklers to clear the ruck and not penalising the tackled player for not playing the ball with his foot when the laws say he should.

We are in fact doing the complete opposite of what the laws say.

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The differences between Super League were very noticeable watching some of the opening round of the NRL. 

The 10 metres aren’t skinny, the defensive line doesn’t move until the ball is played with the foot, one-out passes are taken further forward and milking isn’t rampant. 

I suppose the most important elements are policing the 10 metres and playing the ball correctly.

The latter simply requires a directive but if we can’t have two refs then couldn’t touch judges have more responsibility for policing the 10 metres? 

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All this rubbish that goes on at the ruck and not playing the ball correctly should be clamped down on and penalised. The trouble is it's been going on for so long and seems to have become the 'norm' that if refs start dishing out a load of penalties the crowds will be on the back of the refs for not letting the game flow and for giving too many penalties.

Edited by Rioman
extra wording

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