Warrington Wolves coach Steve Price has expressed his annoyance at the decision of the RFL to impose fines on players who celebrate tries by mobbing or being mobbed by their team-mates.
Under the new anti-Covid directives, any player not observing social distancing while celebrating tries will be fined £250.
The effect of the new ruling was clear in the Challenge Cup quarter-final ties on Saturday and Sunday, when the majority of try scorers were able to avoid coming into contact with their team-mates after touching down.
But Salford’s Dan Sarginson was the exception to the rule when scoring his golden-point matchwinning try against the Catalans Dragons, and he and his team-mates who embraced each other could now face fines.
But Price, speaking after his team’s victory against St Helens on Saturday, sprang to Sarginson’s defence and called the rule “demoralising”, claiming that the RFL needs to show more empathy towards players.
“I’m just a bit frustrated with the game to be honest,” he said.
“You can’t celebrate tries and if you do, you’re going to cop a 250 quid fine. I just can’t understand how that has been brought in.
“As a young kid growing up, you play Rugby League for enjoyment, fun, a team environment and togetherness.
“The powers above need to show some empathy towards the players.
“With what they’ve done to opt in and do what’s best for the game and keep it afloat, to take away try-scoring celebrations I think is demoralising and not good for the game.
“They should show some understanding because the players are going above and beyond
“You saw last night with the Salford game – to win it in extra time after a great game, you play to be able to celebrate moments like that.
“I’m just a bit frustrated with what’s going on and I don’t think it’s the right thing for the game
“Are we going to start telling women that when they give birth, they can’t hold their baby?
“Sometimes in Rugby League, you can’t control what you’re doing at times.
“To fine them for that. I find it very frustrating.”
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.