Mid-season Rule Changes: Good or Bad?
Chief Executive Raelene Castle believes it’s always difficult to change a rule mid-season as she expressed to the media yesterday.
After the controversial tackle involving Kane Evans on Sam Kasiano in round 22, that saw the Rooster escape suspension, the NRL updated their shoulder charge rules.
The NRL had made the shoulder charge illegal and under the rules before the change - offenders could escape a charge if there was "no forceful movement of the head or neck”, but now any player who commits a shoulder charge using force will be automatically charged by the Match Review Committee.
The timing and change of this rule has left many people confused and unsure.
“I think it’s always difficult when you change a rule mid-season,” Castle said. “There’s an element of uncertainty around what is a shoulder charge, and what’s protecting yourself.
“The NRL need to make sure it’s the right decision to make sure the shoulder charge isn’t part of the game, but we do need to make sure we have consistency and consistency in the application of the rule.”
Meanwhile, centre Josh Morris did say to NRL.com that there was confusion currently among players about what will incur a shoulder charge citation.
"I've got no idea what [a shoulder charge] is at the moment,” Morris said. “The Willie Mason one I don't even think he led with his shoulder, he kind of just gave him a chest bump with his hands up so his arms weren't wrapped around the player.
"I've got no idea how we're going to adjudicate what a shoulder charge is from now on but if players are silly enough to try and put one on well then they're going to be sitting down. I guess players will have to use their arms to wrap around and make a tackle or otherwise anything else will be deemed as a shoulder charge."