Coaches Back Change to Extra Time in Finals
The NRL Competition Committee has recommended that extra time should be used in Finals Series matches in 2016 and beyond.
Under the proposal, five minutes of extra time each way would be played in the event of a draw in all Finals matches before the game goes to golden point.
The recommendation follows extensive consultation with the game’s stakeholders, including the NRL Coaches, the RLPA, the playing group, as well as supporters.
Fan feedback which the NRL commissioned found that two out of three supporters were supportive of the move to a 10-minute period of extra time followed by golden point in Finals Series matches.
The ARL Commission will now consider the Competition Committee’s recommendation at its next meeting.
“Following the recent recommendation by the Coaches, the Competition Committee considered the alternatives and the clear view was that Finals Series matches, including the Grand Final, should include a period of extra time before golden point is implemented,” South Sydney Coach Michael Maguire said.
“Not only will it mean a more expansive style of football in the extra time period but it will lessen the prospect of a team being knocked out by a field goal in golden point.”
Other key issues which the Competition Committee discussed today were contact with match officials, tripping and obstruction.
The group was given data which highlighted the impact of 2016 reforms to date in the NRL Telstra Premiership, including the reduction in interchanges, the shot clock and the NRL Bunker.
Ball-in-play time is up 44 seconds per match compared to 2015, while video referral decision-making time is down 16 percent with the advent of the NRL Bunker.
Following the implementation of the shot clock, scrums are taking an average of 28.4 seconds per match (down from an average of 43 seconds), while line drop-outs are taking an average of 26.4 seconds (down from 37 seconds).
The group was told that through 332 try-scoring decisions up to and including Round 11, The NRL Bunker had a 99 percent accuracy rate (three errors). The improved technology had also led to 20 percent of live decisions being overturned (up from 13 percent in 2015).
The meeting was given a “State of the Game” update which showed that attendances are up six percent on 2015, while television audiences are up 17 percent.
The 2016 season has also seen the equal most number of one-point games (8) since 1998 following Round 11, as well as the equal most number of golden point games (6) since 1998 following Round 11.
Among those who attended today’s meeting were Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson and South Sydney coach Michael Maguire, NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg, former player Darren Lockyer, ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce and RLPA General President Clint Newton.