There has been a lot of talk regarding rugby league rules just five rounds into the 2022 Super League season.
There were four yellow cards in Huddersfield’s home clash with Castleford. Winger Jermaine McGillvary’s yellow card caused the most talk on social media.
Danny Levi, Jake Trueman and George Lawler were all also sent for 10 by the official.
There were a total of nine yellow cards across the latest round. Kaide Ellis and Jordan Dezaria were both shown red following Catalans’ victory over Wigan in Perpignan on Saturday night.
However, the latest crackdown on foul play has left a sour feeling within rugby league fans. It has been the talk of the 2022 campaign so far, with players receiving bans left, right and centre for their actions on the field.
Several coaches have spoken out about their support on the crackdown, particularly on head shots.
Kristian Woolf supports decisions
St Helens boss Kristian Woolf has shared his support of the harsher rulings. He, alongside Hull KR’s Tony Smith, have discussed the topic in their pre-match interviews so far this season.
“A lot of people will try to sort of paint a picture of the game not being as tough nowadays as it used to be. That’s not true,” said Woolf.
“It’s just every bit as tough now as what it’s ever been. The physicality hasn’t changed, the toughness hasn’t changed.
“What has changed is what’s acceptable in terms of what used to be considered okay. But now it’s considered dirty play.”
But some decisions have left fans puzzled in recent weeks.
Social media reacts
Former England international and 2011 Man of Steel winner Rangi Chase is one of several players who have raised their opinions on social media.
He wrote: “Our game was once an exciting game to watch for the mutual fan. The game is going backwards. Protecting the players is great but because of the rules, players seem to be taking dives and acting injured to get a penalty, just like footballers do.
“We’re becoming the same.”
Our game was once a exciting game to watch for the mutual fan. The game is going backwards. Protecting the players is great but cos of the rules. Players seem to be taking dives acting injured to get a penalty. Just like footballers do. Were becoming the same
— RangiChase06 (@Chase06R) March 12, 2022
Our League show ‘Sin Bin’ recently returned to the app for the first time since 2020. The show allows fans a chance to get a first-hand and detailed explanation of some of the key decisions taken by the Match Review Panel.
Presenter Rodd Studd was joined by referee Robert Hicks and chair of the Match Review Panel, Paul Cullen. Several decisions were explained, but fans continue to be left unhappy with actions on the field.
Seriously worried about Rugby League, the glut of cards is really spoiling the viewing experience for me and taking some of the toughness and grit out of the sport. Players and coaches need to get together to discuss where it’s at and work with the RFL to get it to a better place
— Alex Simmons (@alexsimmonstv) March 13, 2022
Keep stripping away the game’s USPs and what chance does that give Rugby League in the national marketplace with Union so internationally embedded? I repeat, nobody is suggesting not to address player safety. But don’t banish what separates the sport from others. Protect the game https://t.co/3fvKbVh8Xx
— Alex Tyrer Graham (@AlexG6) March 13, 2022
Sick of six agains. Sick of what they get given for. Sick to death. 🤢
They get given for not getting off the tackle quick enough, even when the ball carrier has given up and not fighting for a quick play the ball.
— Oliver Holmes (@Oli_Holmes) March 10, 2022
The game will struggle to move forward unless the players are involved and have a voice too.
— PeanutMatautia (@PeteMatautia) March 10, 2022