Super League XXVI has been as exhilarating as any instalment in the competition’s history. The rules have made for a fast paced and end to end product that’s always a joy to watch.
But there are still some elements Super League needs to change to help the game both in the way it looks and the way it allows a contest to unfold.
With that in mind, here’s three rule changes Super League must introduce to improve the game.
The Ball Steal
When the new ball steal rule was introduced I was excited to see how it might throw a curve ball into the grind of a game. It had the capacity to switch momentum in one play. But in truth it’s been more trouble than it’s worth. It’s made the game look scrappy at times and many have voiced their dislike of the rule saying it looks cheap and ugly. Plus, it’s led to plenty of controversy as officials are expected to make split second decisions over whether a man is still in the tackle. It made for a lukewarm ending to Friday’s pulsating contest between Leeds and Wakefield.
Adopting the NRL’s Video Referee Approach
The current way the video referee works in Super League has often been problematic and led to long reviews as officials search for evidence to overturn the on-field call. The NRL’s approach seems much fairer and also neater. The try is given on field whilst the bunker checks for any issues in the background. Only in situations where a more thorough look is required are the video referees called into action. This makes for less reviews and subsequently less waiting around.
The 18th Man
Yesterday we discussed the potential introduction of an 18th man. It could be an important step in the right direction where head injuries are concerned as it could allow teams to bring in their 18th man should one of their players fail their HIA test. This would lessen the impact of foul play on the victims whilst exacerbating the consequences on the perpetrators.