The incoming rule changes have been billed as new beginnings for Rugby League.
2019 will see the introduction of shot clocks and Golden Point. Fewer interchanges will be permitted too. The changes have been ushered in for many reasons but predominantly to make the game more exciting.
Over the years, Kris Radlinski has experienced the effects of rule changes more than most given his time in the game both on and off the field.
He believes that the rule changes will NOT revolutionise the game as some are predicting.
“I don’t think there will be too many changes,” he said.
“Rugby League has been played the same way for years and years and years. When was the last time you watched someone and really thought it was new?”
When pushed further on the matter, Radlinski said: “Somebody asked me what has changed in Rugby League over the last ten years. This is just my opinion on it, but it’s probably gone down the analytic route. Coaches know if they hit three of four KPIs they will win the game.
“A completion rate of 75%, restricting your opponent in yardage to less than 30 metres, penalties, winning wrestle and contact. Coaches have scores on all of these things and if you win on three or four of these you win the game. In many respects, that’s drilled into a lot of teams. If it’s not working for a coach, he loses his job. In a results-based industry, you want to win the game.
“That’s one of the biggest changes and maybe that backs up why the creative players aren’t there anymore. I think they are, actually, but they’re not being allowed to because of the need to win games and hit KPIs that assist you in doing that.”
One rule change Radlinski expects to see bring change is the reduction in interchanges.
“I think the most significant change is the eight substitutes as it brings in more strategy in how you stack your bench and when you use them.
“There’s a lot of thought to go into it and it’ll be interesting to see how teams approach that.”