Well, it seems that finally somebody is pushing for the corner flag rule in Rugby League to be changed. And not before time, one may add.
Along with a few other anomalies in League such as the referees lecture and the ridiculous rule currently in place in terms of putting pressure (lack of it) on the ball when a player is forcing the ball for a try, the corner flag rule ranks right up there for outright stupidity.
At this point in time, if a player touches the corner post as he is diving for a try, he is deemed to be out of play. And this despite the fact that he may not me touching the sideline or the area the other side of the sideline. In other words he is still in the air. How can he be out if he has not touched part of the sideline or the ground the other side of it? Ridiculous.
Even Rugby has long since changed the rule regarding corner posts. And that is a sport run by a group of old dinosaurs who usually do nothing more than ape every good idea that rugby league comes up with. If they can manage it, surely the good folk at the NRL could change the rule without bringing the sport to its knees. At the end of each season they generally review the rules and in discussion with people such as coaches, work out what needs changing, and do it.
So then, not hard at all. Round six approaches this weekend. Surely they could have the rule changed by round seven. They don’t have to do away with the flag entirely. It can still be there. Just make it so that if a player touches it, but is not touching the sideline, he is still considered in. Simple. That would ensure that teams that currently have tries denied because of the corner post would not be missing out on points they should rightfully get.
And, hey, if some of the players are really clever about it, they will even learn to use the flag to their advantage. Just imagine, if you will, that a player as he is diving to score is tackled at the same time, and knocks the flag so that it is lying flat on the ground over the touchline and his body is on top of the flag which is now horizontal but has no part of his body touching the ground, yet he still manages to force the ball for a try. It would still be a try, not to mention a wonderful piece of skill on his part.
So come on David Gallop and the team at NRL headquarters, get to work and sort out one of the game’s more ludicrous rules. It isn’t hard, you know.