The NRL has warned clubs that their players will be sent to the sin bin if they attempt to flout the new game’s new rules.
The new rules introduced when the game resumed post-lockdown in round three were widely applauded for adding fatigue and improving the quality of the spectacle. As well as reverting to just one referee, a new six-again call for ruck infringements was introduced instead of issuing penalties.
No sooner than the change was introduced, the 16 coaches have been looking at ways to take advantage of it. In recent weeks, teams have tried to slow down the ruck, particularly early in sets, in the hope the referees will tolerate a slower play-the-ball.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley wrote to the clubs on Tuesday to warn them infringements could result in players spending 10 minutes off the field.