NRL coaches endorse obstruction rule, move to change golden point in finals

NRL CEO Todd Greenburg has announced former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary will assist the NRL. Photo / Getty Images
NRL CEO Todd Greenburg has announced former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary will assist the NRL. Photo / Getty Images

After weeks of controversial obstruction decisions, NRL club coaches have debated how the rule is adjudicated then endorsed the current system.

Despite the current interpretation causing mass confusion among fans and even forcing Cowboys coach Paul Green to admit he's clueless about the rule, the current system had been given the tick of approval according to the NRL.

In a statement, the governing body said coaches had endorsed "the current system which allows some level of discretion for match officials to determine the significance of any contact and whether the defence is impeded".

Coaches gathered in Sydney on Wednesday to discuss some of the pressing issues impacting the game including the bunker, changes to extra-time during the finals and the match review committee.

It was decided that the MRC would now lay charges against players within 24 hours of the fulltime whistle, with the rule to come into effect from round 10.

Each game will also be reviewed by two MRC members, instead of one, in the hope of bringing more consistency in charges.

There has seemingly been an increase in instances of foul-play in the opening rounds of 2016 and club coaches debated the merits of using technology to penalise incidents.

They also urged referees to make calls on such matters rather than relying on video evidence.

The NRL also said a recommendation would be put to the competition committee to consider changes to how the golden point rule is used at finals time.
Last season's golden point thriller between the Cowboys and Broncos would be a thing of the past, with a new proposal of five minutes extra-time each way in the event of a draw before the game goes to golden point.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg also announced that former Panthers coach Ivan Cleary had joined the NRL to assist with match review, judiciary and refereeing issues.

"Ivan is one of the most experienced coaches in the game and he has a great feel for what the clubs want from our match and judiciary officials," he said.

"So our coaches can now be assured that we are getting input from someone who has a real feel for the game from the coaching perspective."


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