NRL coaches need to adapt, not complain
There has been alot of talk in the past couple of months about how rugby league is apparently getting “boring” and that wrestling and other tactical plays are slowing the game down and ruining it.
This argument has been supported by a handful of coaches and players who only seem to complain when they lose and try to find an excuse to take the focus away from their teams performance.
From the fans point of view however, rugby league is as exciting as it ever was. A slower ruck, or a kick to make metres up the field, tends to be an accepted part of the game because we know somethings going to come off the back of it.
It seems to primarily be the media and coaches who have an issue with the game the way it is today.
Before David Gallop’s departure from the top job in the sport, he mentioned the fact that “Rugby league can be a sport that beats up on itself.”
While I personally haven’t agreed with alot of things Gallop did during his time as CEO, he hit the nail right on the head.
All sports media and commentators tend to concentrate on the issues they think need to be addressed in their particular sport whether it be NFL, NBA, NRL, AFL or EPL, and why not?
It gets people reading and stirs up lively debate between friends, coworkers and even at times coaches and media. It’s how the world of journalism works and it’s healthy for the game.
However, I think the NRL needs to take a big step back and have a look at how much it’s grown as a sport and as a culture. After the Super League war, there was talk that rugby league was finished as a high profile spectator sport. Clubs were going to the wall, players were taking big money offers to go play overseas and there was an incredible amount of infighting within the ARL.
It was rugby league’s darkest hour.
Therefore, I simply do not understand when people complain about the state of the game without offering their own solutions.
Yes, there are things to sort out such as Origin eligibility, expansion, mid-season signings and the refereeing system that is currently in place, but we need to remember where we have come from and where we are now. The game is as good as it has ever been.
The issue I have is that people seem to ignore the fact that no sport stays the same forever. From the rules to the players to even the size, shape and design of the ball.
One thing that should be acknowledged is the tactics that are coming into certain sports are changing them for the good. This brings me back to my issue with the coaches complaining about the wrestling tactics and slow play the balls.
There is an obvious motive behind it and as much as they try and deny it,we all know the clubs are doing (some more then others). It’s the way the game is. Coaches are employing tactics that are going to make their team win.
If this means using wrestling techniques to slow down the play the ball to give your defense enough time to get back then by all means.
If it means kicking for touch to gain field possession, so be it.
I’m not stating that whatever trend creeps in should just be accepted as the status quo. But while I understand people may not agree with the certain tactic, I think it’s about time coaches start to realise that the game is changing.
Instead of complaining, the coaches should figure out their own plan to counter the opposition. Isn’t that what they do?
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