It was announced recently that academy games would trial new rules to try and reduce the risk of concussion.
These new rules would see kick-offs from the opposition 40 metre line rather than halfway and also a reduced tackle height making anything above the armpit a penalty.
Fans were sceptical about the trial before hand which began tonight as Bradford Bulls’ academy lost to Leeds Rhinos’ academy 32-50.
Perhaps it was so high scoring because of the number of penalties award with there being nearly 60 awarded, the vast majority for high tackles.
Reports are suggesting that in total 56 penalties were handed out.
Now outspoken ex-player Paul Cooke, formerly of Hull FC, Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity, has slammed these new rules taking to social media to say:
“It’s absolutely no surprise. What you’re asking players (even those at just academy level age group) is to change everything they’ve ever been taught.
“And even more I feel for the referee(s) having to implement these ridiculous trial rule changes.
“It’s not rugby league.”
A fair comment but it is important to remember that the RFL have to do what they can to protect players in the current climate.
And furthermore it is important to remember that this is the starting point of the trial.