Refs to crack down on faulty play-the-balls

Referees will clamp down on incorrect play-the-balls this season.

Coaches have been informed by the RFL’s Head of Match Officials Steve Ganson that players will be penalised if they do not use their foot when playing the ball moving forward.

The issue has become prominent across the game in recent years, with a large percentage of players not correctly rolling the ball and touching it with their foot.

Many have complained about the sport’s inability to address the issue in recent years, with many blatantly incorrect play-the-balls being left unpunished.

But that’s now set to change, with clubs warned that they will be punished if players don’t perform the appropriate action.

One Super League coach praised the move, saying: “It’s a good thing. Some of the rucks and play-the-balls are a joke.”

Other adaptations to the rules have already been announced. Shot clocks have been reduced by five seconds, meaning teams have 30 seconds at a scrum, and 25 seconds at a drop-out.