It’s time to punt the dead ball kick in the NRL

Luke Doherty Roar Guru

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    James Maloney spent more than a year at the Warriors after signing with the Roosters. (AAP Image/Action Photographics/Grant Trouville)

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    It has become another little trick in a coach’s arsenal. The kick that is launched down field, not with the intention of finding touch, but belted in the hope that it lands in a bloke’s bucket of chips in the first row behind the posts.

    Kicking for field position is meant to be an art form, but now it has become yet another tactic employed to slow the game down and reduce the variables.

    It makes complete sense. 

    If you’re in bad field position what is the point in trying to find some open space?

    You have to charge down field, often with a disjointed defensive line, while trying to stop a rampaging fullback.

    It’s much easier to just thump a kick towards the aforementioned chip consuming patron, take a breather and get the line set.

    It’s not exactly thrilling viewing though is it?

    The Dragons have used the tactic numerous times in the past.

    Last night against the Knights, Jamie Soward did his best to make sure balls launched from his boot went over the head of the dangerous duo of Darius Boyd and Aku Uate.

    The Dragons aren’t the only offenders. Most clubs are guilty of using the tactic.

    The commission’s general manager of football operations Nathan McGuirk has been pretty efficient when it comes to changing rules that make the game worse.

    Hopefully he was watching last night.

    It reduces the chances of seeing Billy Slater or Matt Bowen slice through a scattered defensive line. That isn’t good for the game, or those all important television numbers.

    Kickers need to be punished for what is effectively time wasting.

    If the ball goes dead when kicked from inside the attacking teams own half the opposition should re-start their set on half way instead of the 20m line.

    It would be interesting to see how many balls were kicked dead then.

    At least then the bloke in the front row could enjoy his chips in peace. 

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • April 14th 2012 @ 7:04am
      steve b said | April 14th 2012 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      No more rule changes please , . it gives tired players a bit of a rest and if they feel they are on a roll they will put in the air leave it to the kickers to make the choice not the refs

      • April 14th 2012 @ 5:10pm
        Yeah Sure said | April 14th 2012 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

        “No more rule changes please”

        And yet you want to get rid of shoulder charges.

        So you should be saying no rule changes unless you want them.

    • April 14th 2012 @ 7:55am
      eagleJack said | April 14th 2012 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Agree that the tactic is frustrating at times but bringing in this Rugby Union rule would see an end to kickers attempting to stop the ball in the in-goal to force a long range line dropout. It is often a very small margin of error and the ball rolls dead by inches. Clearly Soward last night wasn’t attempting this but there is nothing better than seeing a defensive line charging down the field when the ball stops dead in the in-goal. The sudden fear of the fullback knowing he’ll have to pick it up and run it out is priceless. This rule change would see the end of that.

      • April 14th 2012 @ 11:47am
        soapit said | April 14th 2012 @ 11:47am | ! Report

        this is not the rugby union rule.

        maybe start with taking it out to the 30m line first and see how it goes. big change to take it to the 50m and would likely have unanticipated consequences.

        • April 14th 2012 @ 1:39pm
          eagleJack said | April 14th 2012 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

          It is slightly tweaked but the exact same premise. Brought into Union as teams were thwarting oppositions counter-attacking capabilities by simply kicking it dead.

          • April 15th 2012 @ 9:09am
            soapit said | April 15th 2012 @ 9:09am | ! Report

            almost all of the rules in either game have the same premise. its the detail thats important

      • Roar Guru

        April 14th 2012 @ 4:50pm
        Luke Doherty said | April 14th 2012 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

        What if the ball was kicked from inside the attacking teams half though? You wouldn’t get too many trying to stop it in goal from that far out.

    • April 14th 2012 @ 8:00am
      Tangles said | April 14th 2012 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      I like it a lot.. Let’s make tactical kicking a skill again.. Win/win for the fan!!

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    • April 14th 2012 @ 8:34am
      Sam said | April 14th 2012 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      From memory they changed the rule in union after the 95 world cup when Scotland continually kicked the ball dead to prevent the all blacks from counter attacking.

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    • April 14th 2012 @ 10:09am
      Dan said | April 14th 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Fair enough if it bounces in play and goes dead, but dead on the full should be the same as out on the full I think, it is from the kick off so why not in play????

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      • Roar Guru

        April 14th 2012 @ 10:17am
        Rellum said | April 14th 2012 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Yes leave the rule as is, but out on the full should be a penalty from the 20.

      • April 14th 2012 @ 10:52am
        Meesta Cool said | April 14th 2012 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        I agree Dan. this tactic is used weekly against Melbourne.. I think Titans actually started the trend, (But not sure). If the ball goes directly into touch behind the try line it should be the same ruling as the out of bounds rule.. opposition gains advantage from where the ball is kicked.

        I hate this tactic!.

        • Roar Guru

          April 14th 2012 @ 4:51pm
          Luke Doherty said | April 14th 2012 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

          Me too! Can’t stand it. Makes for boring play.

    • April 14th 2012 @ 10:48am
      Maximus said | April 14th 2012 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      Yes NRL is dependent on the predictability of fifth tackle kick and with this rule and catch the ball on the full in ingoal rule it might lessen it. Sam I think RU changed a few rules when the TV money talked in the changeover days form amateur to speed the game up but to kick the ball dead from 50 metres (15 metre dead ball, line is a rare skill) but I have played in games when a team got in front and kicked the ball dead from every 22 metre dropout so there was there was this tedious recycling like wazzaball in the 80s NRL. Still its up to the trailing team to get the ball and run with it.

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