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The NRL said it had completed its inquiries into reports a ground official criticised a ball boy at last Friday’s Parramatta Eels v Bulldogs game.

Head of Football Todd Greenberg said statements had been taken from the ground official and other relevant club staff who were in the vicinity of the sideline.

The ground official, who has more than 20 years’ experience at the game’s elite level, said he had explained the 40 /20 rule to the ball boys at the completion of the match – but had not abused them in any way.

A letter from Parramatta Eels CEO, Scott Seward, said the club did not believe the ground official intended to cause distress or angst when explaining the rule to them.

The club maintains that the ball boys were told they had cost the club a try and the game when the ground official explained the situation.

Mr Greenberg said the inquiry was complete and no further action would be taken.

“The boys and the ground official were the only people privy to the direct conversation and there are differing views on how that played out,” Mr Greenberg said.

“We will, however, ensure that a club representative is part of any future discussions that any ground official has with club ball boys.

“We want to make sure that we look after both our ball boys and ground officials to avoid these kinds of situations which are no doubt upsetting for everybody involved.

“Through the club, we have reached out to the ball boys and offered support from the NRL.”

In regards to the tap restart, Mr Greenberg said it was already on the agenda for discussion at Thursday’s upcoming Competition Committee meeting.

The rule is designed to create an opportunity for continuous play but has evolved into a quick tap restart.

The Competition Committee will consider the opportunity to put more structure around the play so it has a more controlled restart.

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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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