DISCIPLINE is vital to success in sport - just ask any decent coach.
It's also vital to the success of a sport, so it might be time the National Rugby League mentioned that to those who run the judiciary and those who decide how games are refereed.
Manly centre Steve Matai has been suspended for one week for a high tackle against Canterbury in the first round of the play-offs.
The bloke has a record as long as your arm.
If it was a repeat drink-driving offender he would not just have lost his licence for years but probably be in jail.
In what has been a great season of rugby league, high tackles and shoulder charges have been a blight on the game.
It's time to get tough on high tackles like a decade ago and, as they have done in rugby union, it's time to outlaw shoulder charges, which are fine if they connect with the body but sickening when they connect with the head.
There's too little margin for error - just ask the Dragons' Dean Young.
Players aren't stupid. Matai and his like know that the judiciary has long stopped taking firm action so they are prepared to risk it.
Bring back decent suspensions and the high shots will stop.
So much for the judiciary; what about the referees?
In a sport where rules have been changed to allow tries that didn't use to be tries, one way of seeing more attacking play would be to keep the defence back a genuine 10 metres.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey alluded to the poor 10 metres in the Sea Eagles' loss to the Bulldogs - and he's right.
Watch a game from the 1990s on TV.
See how much more open it is with the teams being kept further apart.
The attacking team has more time to use the ball and it's simply more entertaining.
Players on the field know how far they can stretch the rules.
If they can defend from an off-side position they will do it all game - why wouldn't you?
It's an effective tactic but not much fun for the spectators.
They won't do it if they know it's going to bring a penalty.
A more open game may also result in more line breaks and if it did the referees would need to be on top of that, too.
Players now know they are unlikely to be sin-binned even if they lie all over a tackled player to prevent a quick play-the ball and a try-scoring opportunity.
They don't mind conceding a penalty if it means avoiding a try, but they might think twice if the sin bin was used as liberally as it used to be.
It's all about discipline.
The NRL has come a long way in the past decade but a tougher judiciary, providing a genuine 10 metres and bringing the sin bin back into vogue would make a good game even better.
Here is a rare opportunity to purchase a stunning 4 acres with a house and pool plus gardens, orchard and paddocks that make the most of what our beautiful...
This immaculate beach home is an easy walk to Tallow Beach. This conveniently located Suffolk Park home is the definitive beach house; casual luxury, private and...
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 12.30 - 1.00pm OUR OWNER HAS FOUND HER NEXT PROPERTY... so do not delay on this one... High above the road, in this quiet cul-de-sac...
What an incredibly rare find! Approximately 2 acres (8963m2) of beautiful elevated north east facing land in town Byron Bay. There is an original 3 bedroom...
Set on 657m2 with an east facing large back yard and just a few minutes' walk to Suffolk Park's beautiful Tallow Beach is this large original family beach house...
OPEN this Sat 5th Sep 11am to 11.45am....Brand new, yes just completed, is this appealing 3 bedroom home which qualifies the purchaser for government cost saving...
This luxury family home is located on one of the most desirable streets in the area with breathtaking ocean views extending from sweeping, architect-designed...
Don't miss this outstanding opportunity! Tallow Creek is a new release of vacant lots and freshly renovated existing dwellings located in the vibrant community of...
OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 11.30AM - 12.00PM Tucked away in this beautiful region - with good access is this charming farmhouse. Centrally located on...
OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 10.00 - 10.30AM Positioned between The Channon & Nimbin on a quiet country lane this property is a MUST SEE. The property has a...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.