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NRL General Manager of Football Operations, Mr Nathan McGuirk, has today issued an amendment to the obstruction rule that will allow Video Referees to determine the significance of any contact by block runners when ruling on try-scoring situations.

The amendment, effective from Round 5 of the Telstra Premiership, states: “The Video Referees can determine the significance of contact initiated by the attacking player (who does not have the ball) in impeding a defender’s involvement in a try-scoring play.”

The review follows discussions between Mr McGuirk, NRL Referees Elite Performance Manager, Mr Daniel Anderson, and members of the NRL’s Competition Committee.

“Having examined the application of the rule over the opening four rounds we believe an adjustment was necessary to provide a level of discretion for the Video Referee in the review process,” Mr McGuirk said.

“Daniel in particular has made some really positive changes to the refereeing of matches in 2013 and the fact that we are able to make adjustments when they need to be made reflects the strength of the system we have in place.

“It is important to note that this is not a green light for block runners to start contacting defenders with no consequences.

“It simply provides the Video Referee with the discretion to rule on the significance of any contact by a block runner and ensure that tries that would have been fairly scored will be awarded.”

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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