Something that has been debated again and again in recent years has been the Six Again rule.
Born in the NRL, the rule was brought to Super League part way through 2020 after the return of the sport following a break for the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
It was designed to speed the game up and ensure less stoppages in the game but he has certainly been divisive.
Recently, two Leeds Rhinos players have had their say on the rule and its impact on the game when speaking to Serious About Rugby League.
A hooker who has played the sport both pre and post Six Again, Kruise Leeming is in an ideal position to reflect on the impact the rule has had and as an individual who has benefited from it given the speed he brings to the ruck, he is a fan of the rule:
“You can exploit it as a nine, the more time the ball is in play the better, that’s where I get the edge, If there’s so many stoppages in play, you can’t get at them.
“That’s why fitness is so key, because that way I can exploit it with them.
“I feel fitness is the biggest driver of our sport, you can be as good as you want but fatigue makes fools of us all. We play a tough sport and there are going to be times where I will be blowing, but if I can limit those I can push on more plays and be involved in more of the game.
“The fitter you get the more of the 80 minutes you can play and not being a bystander.”
Another type of player who benefits from the speed of the modern game, the tired defences and the space this rule creates is running fullbacks with pace and evasion such as new recruit Luke Hooley.
He is another player who likes the rule: “I’d say so, I like to speed the game up, I like the faster game. More rules to quicken it up would be good.
“To attract the viewers, the more the better.”
So, the players are in favour of it so why am I advocating its end?
Well one player, who is now subsequently contemplating a move to rugby union, has claimed that rules like this are “rubbing out” big players.
This is Nelson Asofa-Solomona who, according to Rugby Pass, could make the move to rugby union.
It is true that bigger players could soon become limited in number. Rugby was once championed as the sport where every body type could be represented but the speed of the game could make positions almost obsolete in the years to come.
Furthering this point, it seems that a good kicking game, though still important, is perhaps less important now that this rule can fast track teams down field.
Another point is that since its introduction, more so in the NRL, there has been more blow out scores.
Meanwhile, the speed of the game has compounded the issues around head injuries because it has introduced more fatigue into the game and with the game now quicker there is more risk.
The six again in my opinion spoiling the game
Players play for it and to make it quick they don’t play the ball properly and the ref never pulls them. Couple it with no tactical advantage in kicking for touch and no scrums for touch kicking. It all makes the game very predictable fast but predictable.. I have never liked the rule and the sooner its gone the better