Wood says disciplinary system “not as broken as people think”

Nigel Wood has declared that the Rugby Football League’s disciplinary system is “not as broken as people think” – but has admitted that they will listen to calls concerning how it could be improved in the future.

The system came under the spotlight again on Wednesday night after it was revealed that Taulima Tautai successfully appealed his dangerous tackle charge from last weekend, having his two-game ban reduced to just one.

But, speaking prior to that at yesterday’s RFL media briefing, Wood defended the system, saying it’s far better than what the RFL give themselves credit for.

He said: “It’s a much better story than what we give ourselves credit for.

“There’s been some high-profile cases recently which have presented it as a system in crisis but again, we’re open to tweaks. At the end of the year, as we would do with everything, we’ll consult appropriately to see what people have to say and how we can improve it further: but it’s not as broken as people think.

“It’s much more sophisticated than ‘he got three games and he got one’.”

However, Wood has said that if there are realistic and viable ways to improve the system, they will listen to all suggestions.

“It would be wrong if I presented a view saying we’re not open to review: because we are.

“The sport of Rugby League has always been proud of the swiftness of the disciplinary system compared to other sports. If there are improvements that can be made, then we’re all ears.

“Again, I don’t think it’s as broken as people suggest – but that’s not to say we’re oblivious to where improvements might be needed. If methods of revealing underlying rationale can be explained better then of course we’ll look at it.

“We’ve got to be careful we don’t damage the integrity of the process though and it’s not distracted by external influences.”

Wood also confirmed that the RFL will not be considering adopting the bunker – used in the NRL at all games – for next year.