NRL 'six again' law to be considered by RFL Laws Committee for British game

National Rugby League
The National Rugby League resumed on 28 May after a two-month hiatus because of coronavirus

The National Rugby League's 'six again' rule, introduced in Australia for 2020, is under consideration by Rugby Football League law-makers.

The topic will be discussed during RFL Laws Committee talks on Wednesday.

Referees in the NRL can award another six tackles rather than a penalty if a team uses 'cynical' methods to halt the momentum of an attack.

The Laws Committee will also look at how to make the game safer following the coronavirus outbreak.

And they will discuss the findings of the recent coaches' webinar as to whether other areas of the game need to be adapted to protect players when the season begins again - with dropping golden point and unlimited interchanges among the options available.

Wakefield coach Chris Chester will be part of the call to give their thoughts to the committee.

It is hoped that Super League, in which the majority of the innovations would most likely be introduced, will be in a position to resume in late August, or early September - with a view to welcoming back fans at some stage during the remainder of the season.

The RFL meeting follows last week's Clinical Advisory Group talks about a draft policy relating to Covid-19 and how the first two of the government's five stages apply to the sportexternal-link, and a position statement was circulated around the game.

Key issues included sanitised environments, cleaning venues, social distancing where required, appropriate testing for players and the protocols around screening and positive cases.

While safety concerns about scrums, number of interchanges and playing time are all to be discussed, there is much focus on the 'six again' rule following the resumption of the NRL down under.

Statistical evidence suggests the rule has merit, as the NRL reported the ball was in play for three minutes longer on average in round three, when the rule was introduced, compared to rounds one and two.

There were also fewer penalties and the number of metres run increased, with a reduction in the time at the play-the-ball.

While this hints at a 'cleaner', faster game, it also points to a more viewer friendly experience.

However, there are contrasting views about the rule and its impact among Australian coaches.

Canberra's Ricky Stuart supported a move away from a defence-oriented game, but former New South Wales and Australia back-rower Paul Gallen said the inconsistency as to how individual referees interpret it was a problem.

Some also feel it triggers lopsided scorelines, as it puts far more defensive pressure on sides - although Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire rejected this after his side's round four defeat by Gold Coast Titansexternal-link.

The NRL also features the Captain's Challenge, which gives each side one chance per game to refer an on-field decision that has gone against them to the video referee, and this will also be discussed by the RFL.

But Super League or the second-tier Championship's ability to introduce this rule is restricted compared to the NRL, because not every game is televised and has a video referee.

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