Over recent years, the NRL has been under pressure to try and put an end to the issue of players taking dives purely to get penalties.
In more recent times, players would feign injury to try and earn a penalty from what initially appears to be a legitimate tackle. Even worse is when players dive when defending to try and get the attacking side penalised for obstruction. This form of diving has caused a myriad of issues for officials and their policing of the obstruction rule.
Currently, the on-field officials can have an incident reviewed by the video referee. This process slows the game down and generally leads to a penalty being awarded to the diver.
This week the NRL met with 14 of the 16 NRL coaches to review the first 8 weeks and the biggest issue was diving, which has lead to the NRL to make plans to step out this unsportsmanlike behaviour.
NRL Chief of football Todd Greenberg revealed from the meeting, “The thing we talked about today is the threshold – that’s the term I used today with the coaches – for a video referee to review something is whether it is on report or not. The question is whether that threshold is too low. Maybe they only come in at a much higher threshold, which would stop the diving. Clearly what it is there for is to ensure we don’t miss issues. It comes down to the same critical issues of accuracy versus efficiency. We want to make every decision right but clearly we want continuous play.”
Greenberg will spend the next month reviewing the diving issue before hoping to provide some form of resolution.