The Tuesday NRL Rubdown

It’s nice to see the breaking news this evening that ‘discretion’ being brought back into the obstruction rule. Referees who haven’t referred tries upstairs so far have implicitly being doing this anyway. In any case, it seems we have a referees boss who is able to learn. The original decision was a shocker, but at least it is being addressed. As mentioned in the last blog, discretion has to be used in this area – always. Next stop? Concussion. But that’s a League area as opposed to falling under Daniel Anderson’s remit.

Back to the Rubdown!

Just as I was about to leap off the massage table on Monday post-Warriors and say something profound like ‘there are no easy games in the NRL’, the Eels go 10-toes up at the SFS against the Chooks.

And just as I was about to say the Roosters’ were at an early ‘top 8 crossroads’ given their pedestrian stats (apart from unbelievable defence), they go on a 9-try rampage and put a lovely shade of glossy pink lipstick on that pig of a stats sheet. And that despite SKD’s efforts to keep the Eels in the match!

But absolutely nothing explains the accumulated performances of the Cowboys, though I sense (partly in their defence) that the Warriors are going to be formidable at home this year, but very ordinary anywhere else.

The most interesting events (as I saw them) over the weekend include:

  • The Roosters, Broncos and Dragons actually ‘can’ score points!
  • Ricky Stuart highlighting for the 450th time that the resurgence of the Eels will take a loooong time. That’s a good way of softening up the Board by keeping expectations low and increasing the chances they will honour the coaching contract. Just remember what they did to Anderson …
  • Some seemed annoyed at Johnathan Thurston lining up a conversion kick prior to the coin-tossers in the video referees box signalling a try. It’s just common sense, isn’t it? There was only a minute or two remaining to snatch an unlikely win.

Anyway, as the Dr has noted, and will continue to do so, time-off should be called after every try and restarted at kick off.

  • Referees don’t understand the Send Off and Sin Bin rules (or the offside at the kick-off rule for that matter). Not a lot more needs to be said, other than predicting that some poor sod is going to get marched in upcoming weeks for something far less than what Krisnan Inu did to Greg Inglis.

InuSomebody please explain to the Dr, who is a little slow on the uptake, why the Inu suspension has a band of 5-7 weeks. Are they really saying that it’s only worth 5wks if Inu refers to his better nature and admits he ‘done wrong’? But is worth an extra 2wks if he has the chutzpah to challenge it? Given he had a few goes at turning Inglis into Gladstone small, he has sensibly taken the 5wks. But the entire NRL, and Inglis particularly, are lucky there wasn’t a broken neck.

  • The hilarity of the judiciary and sentencing process continues as Sam Thaiday receives a 1-match suspension for demonstrating to the referee – in detail – how a cynical and illegal set play by the Storm works by tugging the referees jumper.

It sums up the referees and judiciary in a deliciously neat manner. Not only does the referee get the decision wrong and compound it by not allowing the video referee to decide on the only ‘real’ obstruction we’ve seen all year, but Thaiday gets the same suspension as Richie Fa’aoso, who caused grievous bodily harm with an illegal tackle, culminating in the victim missing 2wks as a result.

To be clear, you can’t touch the referee and should be an automatic suspension, but do the gradings not seem a little odd? Spare me the argument about ‘precedents’.

Oh, and remind me why the video referee can ‘have a word’ in the on-field referee’s ear about which player knocked a ball dead in-goal, but can’t yell obstruction …

  • Still on comedy, because we are in the entertainment business as Wayne Bennett likes to say … Jarrod Hayne absolutely needs to remain captain of the Eels all year for the good of the game. This could be Ricky’s greatest achievement at the Eels.

abbott and costelloJarrod and the referee last night were just about to launch into ‘Who’s on first?’ after a bit of warm up ‘improv’ when they were cruelly cut short. The feel-good factor from the constant banter will bring people back to the game in droves, particularly the debating crowd.

Perhaps next week we’ll see a Monty Python ‘dead parrot’ sketch, or a cream pie unleashed. I can hardly wait for the referee to poke Jarrod in the eye as he juggles some flaming corner posts.

  • Concussion … yes, the first Rubdown suggested this might be a recurring theme (along with obstruction), and so it is … When are our marvellously ‘proactive’ administrators going to get on the front foot and do something about it, like a Concussion Substitute? The lethargy is not because the AFL do it, surely, and we’re too manly to copy other codes?

As the Dr says repeatedly, take the best rules and practices from other sports and shed the rest. Supercode 101.

We don’t need the absurdity of the Warriors finishing a game with 12 men due to concussed players (who will miss the next week as well) when they could just use an extra substitution.

And why can’t the coach of a concussed player (as a result of foul play) choose which player from the opposing bench cannot take any further part in the game? No need for dipstick ideas like 18 men.

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