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The NRL’s ambitious return on May 28 is less than three weeks away, but the game still faces a number of obstacles to relaunch the competition.
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PETER V’LANDYS COULD SOON BE LOST IN THE RUGBY LEAGUE
ARLC President Peter V’landys could leave the rugby league if he signs a record television contract with broadcasters and resumes competition on May 28.
Talks with Channel Nine and Foxtel are expected to secure the game a $ 2.3 billion television contract over seven years, which could mean that V’landys will just leave the game at a high level.
“If I can get the game back in good financial shape and start over, it will be my reward,” V’landys told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I owe it to the rugby league because it saved me from being screwed up when I was a young migrant.
“I didn’t want to be president of ARLC. Being a CEO is not on the cards. I don’t have an agenda. I don’t need to be president or CEO.
“The rugby league saved me as a migrant child in Wollongong and if I can work it out and in good financial shape, I will have paid off the debt.”
BUZZ CALLS FOR SACRED CLUBS TO FIGHT COSTS
Phil Rothfield called on the NRL coaches to join forces to end the fight.
A model for a referee has been proposed to cut costs and, while Rothfield agrees, he also believes that wrestling coaches would have a greater impact on the spectacle of the sport.
“What annoys me about all of this is the explosion of the coaches,” said Rothfield in response to a referee’s request at The Big Sports breakfast.
“The very reason we have this argument is because of the coaches and because wrestling has become such an important part of the game.
“If they’re so determined they have a coaching union, why can’t they come to an agreement that they will fire all of their wrestling coaches.
“Why don’t they come to an agreement that over the next two years we will not fight in training for the good of the game.
“I think coaches in the spirit of the game, instead of complaining, they should actually do something and agree that they will fire all wrestling coaches.
“They must cut the football departments anyway.”
V’LANDYS REJECTS THE CHANGE OF RHETORIC RULE AS AN ALARMIST
ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys called concerns about the proposed rule changes to resume NRL competition “alarmist”.
Leading NHL coaches, including Des Hasler, Paul Green and Michael Maguire, have questioned whether returning to a referee and removing ruck penalties would affect the integrity of the competition, which should resume May 28.
The ARLC should approve the reduction of referees as a saving measure this week, as well as the elimination of ruck penalties in favor of restarting the tackle count to reduce stoppages.
The proposal has raised questions from some of the game’s leading figures, who believe that major rule changes could jeopardize the purity of the competition, for which the results of the first two rounds of March were retained despite the long pause in the procedures.
But V’landys insists that changing the rule will not have a negative effect. “This is still alarmist rhetoric,” he told AAP.
“There were two games, it’s not like we’re halfway through the competition.” It’s really a bit of an exaggeration. “
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“You can exaggerate while trying to make your point, but is it necessary? “You can make a point on a reference but don’t overdo it as if it had the integrity of the game on it.
“What happens when players move from the NRL to the international level? They have only one referee. Does this affect the integrity of the game? No.”
Questions have also been raised as to whether returning to a referee would impact the speed of the ruck with fewer eyes to control it.
However, V’landys is confident that adding six tackles instead of a penalty will deter clubs from slowing the ruck and reducing the number of saves in games.
“You could be on the fifth and final tackle and get six more tackles if someone slows down the ruck,” he said.
“This will strongly deter coaches from not slowing down the ruck.
“” There is no stoppage, the referee says “another six”, so there is no stoppage of play. This will keep the game flowing.
“Everyone says” oh it’s going to slow down “. Well, we think it will speed up because of that” six more “and, realistically, the fight has not been eradicated with two referees anyway.
“Studies have shown that the situation is getting worse. So we have to try something new.”
A CLEAR SET TO ESCAPE THE SUSPENSION FOR THE TIK TOK DEBACULE
Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary is on the verge of avoiding a game suspension due to his social distancing error.
Despite Phil Gould’s calls for a season ban, the Daily Telegraph reported that the NRL is more likely to increase the 22-year-old fine and grant him another suspended game suspension.
Cleary will therefore be free to play when the NRL returns on May 28.
It is understood that an appropriate sentence is still being debated at the highest levels, but a decision is expected to be made on Monday.
The NRL takes the issue seriously, but Cleary’s clean record and the remorse he has shown should work in his favor.
However, any potential fines would not harm Cleary as one of the game’s biggest revenues and a ban would certainly affect Club Penrith on return from play.
LNR PROMOTING THE SMALLEST STADIUMS IN SYDNEY TO HOST GAMES
In the coming weeks, the final touches will be put in place before the restart on May 28 with a draw.
The commission should decide whether the teams can play on their usual pitch after the finalization of the broadcast agreement.
However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the NRL is leaning towards smaller venues, including Bankwest Stadium, Leichhardt Oval and Netstrata Jubilee Stadium to host games in the first six to eight weeks due to the lack of crowds.
The NRL had requested the exclusive use of the SCG, but the Herald says that the SCG and the ANZ stadium are out of sight.
This means that the Bulldogs, Rabbitohs and Roosters will have to play away from their home court.
Sydney stadiums will undergo biosecurity inspections this week before any decisions are made.
All teams outside of Sydney – except the Warriors – hope to be able to play on their home turf. The Warriors are slated to host games at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, but Newcastle National Stadium, McDonald Jones Stadium, is also an option.
MATTY JOHNS PODCAST
With Cooper back in the storm, Matty, Trish and Jack talk about going back to NRL training, Singo stories, where they would go if they had a time machine, and there’s a good thread about good coffee
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