The NRL has today reminded Match Officials, Clubs and Players of the need to adhere to the rules.
From Round Nine of the NRL Telstra Premiership, Match Officials have been reminded to take minimal tolerance for avoidable contact with the head or neck.
While incidental or minor contact will continue to be penalised and potentially placed on report, on-field officials and the NRL Bunker have been encouraged to use the sin bin or send-off mechanisms for contact deemed careless or reckless and involving a significant degree of force around the head and neck. The reminder is based on the Commission’s focus on ensuring player safety remains the game’s highest priority.
Match Officials will also take stronger action regarding continuous or deliberate tactical breaches in relation to “Six Again” calls for 10 metre and ruck infringements.
On-field officials will consider appropriate use of a penalty and sin bin, if it’s considered necessary under the circumstances, to ensure a higher level of compliance, including for repeat infringements or deliberate infringements early in the set.
This does not need to be the same player on consecutive occasions. The team receives a general warning and the next player that infringes in the ensuing period could be sin binned.
When the “Six Again” was introduced it allowed for penalties and sin binning for repeated offences.
Referees will also be more vigilant in identifying players who break from scrums before the call of “Break” by the referee.
The NRL will also implement measures to ensure the public can more easily understand the reason for “Six Again” calls. The specific nature of the breach (10 metre or ruck infringement) will be communicated via the public-address system and big screen graphics.
The game is also working with broadcasters to enable this to be displayed during television broadcasts to ensure fans are aware of the decision.
The NRL, Fox Sports and Nine are aligned in their desire to give fans the best possible and most informative viewing experience. The “Six Again” bell will continue to ring for infringements.
This communication is aimed at ensuring the game remains as safe as possible for players and entertaining and free flowing for NRL fans.