Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The gripe of the week for NRL fans this week has been how the new rules are “ruining the game” and are causing blowout score lines, which are therefore making games less entertaining.
Unfortunately, the vast majority are wrong in this instance, as while the new rules have resulted in a spike in blowout scores, it’s not the fault of the NRL, but a demonstration of just how much certain clubs are off the mark.
For the most part, lower table clubs that have been the subject of numerous reports suggesting they have a poor culture and lack of effort in games are finally being exposed to the largest extent.
Take the Storm versus Tigers game in round 15, while the Storm were firm favourites and most likely would have won, either way, the Tigers simply did not give the game their all and put in a 100% effort for 80 minutes.
Andrew Abdo gives us an update on the developing crisis.
— NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) July 11, 2021
If they had done so, then the scoreline certainly would not have been as big as 66-16.
While there is a gap in terms of talent distribution throughout the 16 clubs, it is not as big a gap as these score lines suggest and as fans seem to think, because one of if not the biggest issue facing the bottom of the table clubs is a consistent effort.
Look at the Bulldogs side who just this round was in the fight for 80 minutes against a top eight side in the Roosters.
Granted the Roosters were a depleted side, but the Bulldogs hung on in there because their players stepped up and gave it their all for the duration of the game.
NRL Fans have been begging for rules to be put in place to create a more fast paced and entertaining product, and now they have it, but with that they need to understand that there comes an adjustment period, and clubs that are finding success hard and seemingly have issues behind the scenes will not adapt as quickly as the other teams in the competition.