NRL rule change leads to routs: Kearney

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney believes the NRL’s radical rule changes have led to an increase in blowout scorelines, including their scoreless loss to Penrith.

A week after holding St George Illawarra to nil, the Warriors were on the wrong end of a 26-0 defeat to the Panthers on Friday night.

It was the second straight night a team failed to score point, with Brisbane also failing to trouble the scoresheet in a 59-0 humiliation against Sydney Roosters.

In fact, of the ten games played since the six-again rule was rushed in last week, eight have been decided by more than two tries.

“There’s no doubt it’s a by-product of a team getting momentum,” Kearney said.

“Having to make a number of tackles in a row and all of a sudden defending your tryline under some real fatigue, there’s no doubt that plays a part.”

Kearney also questioned why no Panthers were sent to the sin bin for multiple ruck infringements that resulted in a 6-2 advantage in set restarts.

“I reckon they had about five of them on the first tackle tonight,” he said.

“And when I last read the brief, it said that if they were making multiple six-again infringements, that someone was going to go to the bin. I didn’t see that happen.”

However, Kearney insists none of those factors were the major reason his team went from playing almost the perfect game to producing a crass one.

He conceded his team, who are now 1-3 to start the season, simply gave away too many penalties and struggled with their last-tackle options.

“I just didn’t think we gave ourselves a chance tonight,” he said.

“I reckon what the new game is teaching us is that when you miss the jump or lose momentum, it’s very hard to claw back.”

Kearney is also refusing to use the New Zealand club’s indefinite relocation to Australia, brought on by the coronavirus, as an excuse.

“I don’t think the adrenaline or emotion’s going to be an issue,” he said.

“The reality is we missed our jobs tonight and we get another opportunity to work on that and fix it next Friday.”

Kearney confirmed strike wingers Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu’a won’t be back for next week’s clash with North Queensland.





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