Mailbox: Tweaking the six-again rule to stop first tackle infringements

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Dear James

Just to get your opinion on this, the 6 again rule.

As much as I like how it keeps the game flowing there’s something that doesn’t sit well with me. If there’s an infringement during the play the ball I the first or second tackle in the set, its 6 again, giving little to no advantage to the attacking team in comparison to the latter stages of the set.

Maybe, if said infringements happen in the first or second tackle, the referee could push the defence back 10 metres? In a similar fashion to giving an extra 10 metres when a penalty has being given and a defending player/players are arguing?

What do you think?

Gaz Haigh

Editor’s comment: Thanks for the mail, Gaz. An interesting topic for sure. There were positives to the six-again rule, but I think largely, it has now created a bit of a beast. I’ve been to games where teams have clearly been deliberately infringing on the zero or first tackle, knowing that the worst that’s really going to happen to them is to defend one more tackle – they’d rather take that and ensure their defensive line is settled. I do like the fact it reduces the amount of kicks to touch, which can have a significant swing on games, so your suggestion on how to address one of the issues might have legs. I’d almost suggest that infringements on zero or first tackle should be treated as standard penalties. It will be interesting to hear others’ thoughts on this too.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Get your letters in now via email to:


  1. Personally I would bin the 6 again. A proper penalty for an infringement gives the teams a chance to catch their breath and gain valuable ground or even go for goal. There are more stoppages now per game than ever before so it isn’t working to keep the game flowing. I have also noticed that there are more one man drives after a quick play the ball. It is stunting the flare and making the game very predictable.

    • I agree. I think the 6 again is creating another game which is not RL. If this is the plan which has been muted recently, so be it, but can we have some transparency and tell supporters, players etc that this is the future. Some clubs have clearly built squads for ‘original RL and are now struggling as their big packs struggle with this new brand of RL. Been said before but can we make a decision and stick with it. The ‘experts’ know what needs to be done so do it, tell us and then stick to it because I can barely keep up with the rule changes anymore!

  2. The 6 again rule is subjective as to what the ref sees or doesn’t and still gives the 6. Sometimes when the score is close the 6 again can be a disadvantage especially if you would have gone for goal and 2 points. That’s taken away by the rule.

  3. I have been saying this for months. Teams were always take advantage of this rule. Zero or 1st tackle infringements should been penalised with the usual kick to touch. Get penalised territory that always hurts.

  4. I too think that six again is a bit of a farce when all the mucking about happens on first tackle or zero tackle. I say the option to take two should be there until second tackle

  5. I think a penalty is preferable, at least teams have the option of taking 2 points close to the opponent’s line. Far too many spectators do not know why the six again has been given.

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