Mailbox: Incorrect play the balls a blight on the game

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor: [email protected]

Dear James,

Perhaps it’s time to re-name the play the ball the “stepover” as 90% of them consist of the tackled player stepping over the ball and very often taking the marker out of play.

The NRL have made strenuous efforts to get players playing the ball correctly whilst SL allows/condones this blight on the game.

Steven Bradley

Dear James

How about playing to the rules? UK rugby just lets the player roll the ball back between their legs as they are getting to their feet. Couple this with a sly step to the side its an instant penalty for the makers not being straight.

It’s cheating to get an advantage. The Aussies saw this and enforced the rules. Having watched the NRL I can’t say it has made the game any slower.

Graham Collins

Editor’s comment: Given the play the ball is a significant part of rugby league’s identity, it should be policed properly. The NRL are helped of course by having the extra referee around the ruck. You do see some very good examples of the play the ball in the Championship, certainly Anthony Gelling is one but remember being impressed by Willie Minoga at Barrow. Given speed around the ruck makes a massive difference in a game, players being allowed to step over the ball and take out the marker does have a big impact on metres made.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor: [email protected]