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Jamal Idris's season-ending injury makes him just one of several players cruelled by bad luck in recent times.

Solving the send-off problem, tackling divers, why Melbourne's 'big three' is no more and more words of wisdom from Andrew Voss.

What can we do about the send-off rule in rugby league?

I have been saying it for the past 20 years. Make an allowance for sent off players in most cases to be replaced.

The reluctance to send players off and the tendency to just fall back to the on-report option has become too easy in my opinion for the referees, who I believe are afraid of the impact that reducing a side to 12 will have.

So we should relieve that pressure.

Cronulla's Andrew Fifita and the Dragons Tyson Frizell could have been given their marching orders last weekend and replaced by a teammate, retaining the game status of 13-on-13.

However the Sharks and Dragons in that case would have been down an interchange player on their bench for the remainder of the match, with Fifita and Frizell to play no further part. The replacing of the dismissed player could also count as an interchange.

The exception to the rule would be for the worst cases of offences such as king hits and manhandling a referee. Leave the option there for dismissal without replacement, open for the refs.

By the way, I know there have been headlines this week about how long it has been since the last send-off in 2013… and that was for a high tackle.

Let me remind you how long it has been since the last send-off for a dangerous throw.

Try May 27, 1995. Hey, we're coming up to the 20-year anniversary!

What do we do about 'divers'?

Charge them with contrary conduct.

I tweeted whilst watching Monday night's game that regardless of what you thought about Michael Morgan's no-try for the Cowboys just before half-time, was there anyone out there who didn't think Glenn Stewart had taken a dive?

It was so obvious and then later admitted by the player himself. At the moment it goes under the banner of "gamesmanship".

Well just as you can be charged for simulation in soccer, let's be more vigilant about the practice in rugby league. Grade 1 contrary conduct, Mr Stewart. You have the right to challenge the charge if you like. 

It is the only way to stop diving creeping into the game more and more.

Is there still a 'big three' at Melbourne?

No. There is now a big four.

I have no problem in adding prop Jesse Bromwich to the status enjoyed by Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.

He's the best front-rower in the NRL for mine.

While there are others also producing big stats on a weekly basis, it is the quality and skill in Bromwich's work that puts him at the top of the rankings.

His footwork and athleticism is incredible. No front-rower has played a more impressive game in recent times than the Kiwi international did last Sunday against Canberra.

For the record, his stats from 70 minutes at GIO Stadium were 23 runs, 259 metres and 33 tackles.

Who is the unluckiest player currently in the NRL?

There are plenty of them.

I think all league fans felt for Jamal Idris this week when he was ruled out for the season at Penrith.

But what about the players not so much in the spotlight?

Kyle Stanley is currently doing rehab from his fifth knee reconstruction in his career.

And down at the Storm, Slade Griffin did his knee playing in the Intrust Super Cup a few weeks ago. It's the third straight season this has happened.

I am sure there are others.

I've said it before; we fans often talk about how good it would be to be an NRL player. But we rarely contemplate how tough injuries can be and the mental strength required by those to overcome numerous setbacks.

When it comes to representative football then, who's the unluckiest player?

Canberra's Shaun Fensom, first, second and third.

That he hasn't even played for Country is hard to fathom, although he did get a look-in last year as 18th man.

His form this year has been outstanding in an improving Raiders side. Fensom, a two-time winner of the Mal Meninga Medal at Canberra, has always received recognition for his work rate and 40-plus tackles a game.

But I believe his attack and ability to offload is just as good.

He is another one who has had some injury setbacks over the years, and it didn't look great when he hobbled from the field last Sunday.

This is the same player who underwent a knee reconstruction after Round 21 last year and was back on deck for Round 1 this season. His attitude to training and preparation is the stuff of legend at Canberra.

Here's the highest praise I can give Shaun: Without a rep jumper in his wardrobe, if he were to get picked for the Australian side to take on the Kiwis on May 1, or for the opening State of Origin game for New South Wales this year, I wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Who has got the best Golden Boot?

We can find out Saturday night at 1300SMILES Stadium.

The current Golden Boot holder Shaun Johnson of the Warriors will come up against the winner from 2013 and 2011, Johnathan Thurston.

Both are their respective team's goal-kicker too.

And I reckon that'll be all that separates the Warriors and the Cowboys on Saturday night. The Cowboys to win by two!

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to getting to CBUS Super Stadium on Saturday to call Titans v Panthers, and one of the wonders of the world Leichhardt Oval on Sunday to cover Tigers v Raiders for Fox Sports.

See you at the footy.

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of the NRL or

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