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NRL to consider radical red zone time out

NRL to consider radical red zone time out.jpg

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg (AAP Image/David Moir)

The NRL is considering a radical proposal for players who concede penalties in their own red zone to be given a time out.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg revealed the game's rule makers were considering a controversial tweak designed to curb the trend of players giving away deliberate penalties close to their own tryline.

Some sides have been accused of giving away calculated penalties in an effort to coax the opposition into kicking a penalty goal rather than going for a try.

Under the proposal, any player who gives away a penalty within the 20 metre zone would be forced to stand behind the goalposts for the following set.

According to Fox Sports Stats, the number of red zone penalties has increased this year with 701 of the 2525 penalties (28 per cent) being incurred in the offending side's red zone.

This is up on the numbers from the same time last year when 650 of the 2682 (24 per cent) penalties came in the red zone.

The rule was recently debated by the powerful competition committee and will come up when it meets again later in the year, with a view to possibly implementing it in 2018.

"That was talked about at the competition committee recently and I expect that will create some more discussion at the November meeting," Greenberg said.

"I'd say this, I think we've passed more than 40 sin bin offences in this season. That's more than double what we did last year.

"That was on the back of the coaches and the competition committee making a more considered response for foul play."

According to Fox Sports Stats, Newcastle (2.4 per game) gave away the most red zone penalties in 2017 followed by Cronulla (2.2) and Canterbury (2.1) with St George Illawarra, Brisbane and Wests Tigers (1.3) the best behaved in that respect.

The proposal does look set to be met with some opposition with Sydney Roosters and NSW captain Boyd Cordner saying it was too hard to discern between deliberate and accidental penalties and the rule could unjustly affect some teams at key moments.

"I'm not a fan of that," Cordner said.

"Personally, I don't think it should be implemented.

"It's hard to determine whether they're doing it on purpose, that's the hardest thing, how they will determine that."

© AAP 2017

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