Lee Radford called for changes to the disciplinary last year and the Castleford Tigers boss seems to have succeeded in this with the RFL seemingly switching to more fine based punishment rather than bans.
In light of this, Radford has praised the decision on Tigers TV.
“Definitely, I think it’s just a smart decision as a competition the amount of games we’re playing it’s really high compared to the NRL. So the strain we put on our players is already a lot so to have four or five missing with suspension makes it difficult.
“Supporters want to see young players coming through but not because there is no one else to play.
“If you look at the end of last season the amount of teams with injuries.”
This drew discussion about Liam Watts who picked up plenty of bans last year and prompted Radford to say that the clamp down on late hits was dropped on them late last year:
“It’s a challenge for Liam because players of that age have been taught to put as much pressure as they can on a halfback so it’s a game of cat and mouse because they want time on the ball and we want to take it away from them.
“Sometimes when you are working hard to put pressure on from the inside, you have a fraction of a second to make a decision.
“They were really harsh on that last year so this year we can prepare for it because last year because it got dropped on us in the friendlies last year.”
Watts will get a chance to prepare for the new season on Sunday against Keighley Cougars:
“Liam will participate for sure, he would have done against Featherstone if he hadn’t been suspended.”
However, others will be protected:
“It’ll be a big squad with a lot of interchanges but the core of the squad will be playing but there will be some players who won’t play who we can’t afford to get injured who will be wrapped up in cotton wool until our last friendly against Huddersfield.
“Our two halfbacks won’t be participating and probably won’t do until Huddersfield and Niall Evalds is probably in that bracket as well.
“Paul McShane will be wrapped up in cotton wool, he is really valuable and I’m not saying other blokes aren’t but he plays a specialist position where we haven’t got much depth.”