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South Sydney Demands....

Moondog

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NRL to tackle ‘the wrestle’ on back of South Sydney demands
Brent Read, The Australian
February 27, 2020 6:00am


South Sydney officials descended on Rugby League Central late last year armed with a dossier of evidence, a series of recommendations and a fierce determination to rid the game of its greatest scourge — wrestling.
It appears the NRL may have finally taken heed. NRL head of football Graham Annesley confirmed to News Corp on Wednesday that the governing body had hired Scott Barker — the man who played a central role in piecing together Souths’s submission to the NRL — in a newly created role that will see him monitoring trends in the game.
The NRL was at pains to insist Barker would not focus solely on wrestling. Rather, he will be charged with analysing the game and providing data to management which will guide policy recommendations to combat any disturbing trends that may arise.

Cam Murray is gang tackle around the head by Storm players. Picture: Shane Myers/NRL Photos

Cam Murray is gang tackle around the head by Storm players. Picture: Shane Myers/NRL Photos
The most disturbing in the eyes of many remains the wrestle and its growing influence in rugby league over the past 15 years.


Barker had been working as a consultant at the NRL, having formerly been Wayne Bennett’s right-hand man in Brisbane. When Bennett left the Broncos, so did Barker. Souths brought him on board last year for a short time as they pieced together a submission aimed at eradicating the spectre of wrestling.

In that role, Barker reviewed every tackle in the NRL last year and compiled a video package highlighting tackles that pushed the boundaries in their control of the head or neck. The tackles that formed part of their submission — there was more than 30 minutes of video evidence — came from across the NRL.


Far from being a bash-up of Melbourne, as many would suspect given the controversy that has often shadowed the Storm, Souths used examples from every club, including themselves.


Their submission also included a recommendation that the match review co-ordinator become a full-time employee — former Manly player Michael Robertson has since been appointed to the position — and that person, along with a current match official, watched games predominantly in close-up angles with a focus on the ruck.

Souths also urged the NRL to end the practice of sending concerning act notices to players, insisting that actions on the field be deemed either legal within the judiciary code or outside that realm.

The Rabbitohs’ submission called for greater education and a greater adherence to the judiciary code when it came to laying charges, and they notably included extracts from the judicial code referring to a tackler having the responsibility to “immediately release” a tackled player from a grip or hold around the neck or a pinning of the neck or head.

There was also a reference to jujitsu, using an extract from a prominent school describing how control of the head can be used as a lever for the entire torso.

“By twisting the head you cause your opponent great discomfort and severely compromise the mobility of his spine,” the website says. “As the head is the centre of a person’s physical awareness because it contains the brain and many of the major sense organs, it is very easy to distract and upset the rhythm of an opponent by interfering with their head.”

The NRL announced a series of judicial changes earlier this month including the live streaming of hearings, one of the recommendations in Souths’s submission.

Souths head of football Shane Richardson insisted no single club was the centre of their dealings with the NRL.

Rather, they looked across the length and breadth of the NRL as they reinforced their case.

“We decided to go with a proactive approach to the NRL to say that wrestling has to be decreased in the game,” Richardson said.

“Ninety per cent of the public are behind it. Rather than go along complaining about what has happened, we went along with some ideas … about how we could change the game for the better.

“We did it to change the game, not for the benefit of South Sydney. As a game, we are worried and concerned about concussion and we made changes because of that.

“In my opinion this is as big a blight on the game as that. We have to make sure that the head and neck are protected. People have to understand the pressure that is put on the head because of these techniques.

“It is not a part of our game. It is something that has come in the modern game. Keeping your hands away from the head has always been part of our culture.

“Now all of a sudden it is all right to put players in head locks and control their spine through rugby league. The referees might penalise them but very few charges are ever laid.

“We’re not asking them to change the rules. We’re asking them to enforce the rules because they are in there for a reason.”

Annesley added on the appointment of Barker: “We felt it was opportune to bring some club football knowledge in-house to help provide us with information on which to formulate our future policies.

“Scott has worked in clubland for many years in an analytical role and he is now working full-time for us in a similar capacity.

“So we can get the benefit of that knowledge.”
 

Moondog

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So something that’s been a scourge for 15 years , known by EVERY FAN, every player and every coach is suddenly going to be acted on so that Toddy’s choice of Premier for 2020 has a better chance.

Well bugger me!
And it'll be policed by a former Souths employee. Must be a conflict of interest in there somewhere. The article says he'll be monitoring trends in the game , whatever that means. Perhaps they'll crack down on the squirrel grip, they could hire big Sam to keep an eye on that.
 
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Woodsie

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And it'll be policed by a former Souths employee. Must be a conflict of interest in there somewhere. The article says he'll be monitoring trends in the game , whatever that means. Perhaps they'll crack down on the squirrel grip, they could hire big Sam to keep an eye on that.
OR ... GreenTurd is as cunning as a rock lizard .... the best way to silence or "bury" a troublesome person with good intentions is .... give them a well paying job at NRL headquarters and wrap them up with red tape and committees .... chaired by guess who ... ??
 

KOMORI

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I think that in theory this is a great idea, that should benefit the game and take away the wrestle and ruck advantage that teams like the Storm have used for many years....

However... in application it will provide a new grey area to police certain teams with and another area that gives referees more power to change the momentum of any given game. It’s an “innovation” that fans have been calling for since about 2006, and I can’t help but think that it will be used in a biased manner to suit whichever team Todd’s integrity desires.

It could be that I’m a truly cynical bastard as well... but none of the rule changes we’ve seen since Toddles took over have been about simplifying a simple game, they’ve been about grey areas that can and have been exploited by both the teams and the referees to the benefit of certain clubs..
 

sheridanstand78

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The Vermin will be happy as long as you dont talk about early player retirmements salary cap exemptions, that have given them an advantage over every other club!
 

yokahontas

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The Vermin will be happy as long as you dont talk about early player retirmements salary cap exemptions, that have given them an advantage over every other club!
Ironic that they brought up the ‘concerning act notices’, given they’ve also been the major beneficiary of those over the past few seasons...
 

StuBoot

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Ironic that they brought up the ‘concerning act notices’, given they’ve also been the major beneficiary of those over the past few seasons...
I thought that too. Maybe they were getting sick of getting all that mail.
Come to think of it, that's what could have done Sam's shoulder in, picking up the mail bag each week that was full on "concerning act" notices!
 

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