Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough.

Bennett welcomes NRL crackdown

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has welcomed a looming crackdown in the play-the-ball area but says the game still needs to do more to sort out when a tackle is completed.

Bennett said he had received an email from NRL referees boss Bernard Sutton alerting all clubs that from round 19 slowing the play-the-ball down would be officiated more stringently. But the coach hasn't  relayed that message to his players because he says for them nothing will need to change.

Sutton has told clubs that "flopping, leg pulls, spinning, crowding, and climbing over a player" will be a focus.

"I'd love to see that. We don't have a problem here," Bennett said.

"We've got the quickest play-the-balls against us in the league so we are not going to have to change. In fact, I got the email yesterday and I didn't even bother telling the players about it because it is not an issue for us."

Bennett is a purist when it comes to the play-the-ball and the Broncos, while practising defensive drills at training, are known for letting the game flow in that area.

Paul Gallen feels the effects of a Broncos tackle.
Paul Gallen feels the effects of a Broncos tackle. ©NRL Photos

The Broncos coach said the game could make a real difference if there was more definition around when a tackle was completed, and then what happened afterwards wouldn't be such an issue.

"Once they have determined the tackle is completed there shouldn't be a grey area," he said.

"They have won the battle with the 10 metres. I think they have done a good job there. Teams might still be leaving a little bit early but generally the 10 metres has been a lot better than it has."

Bennett was sceptical about how much of a crackdown there would be on the play-the-ball with seven rounds remaining, but said he hoped it would be looked at next year in more detail with the "completion of a tackle" set in stone.

"When the tackle is completed it should be, bang, everybody off...no other way off...don't have another play back at him," he said.

"That is the crucial moment in the game for me...when is the tackle completed. I know what the guidelines are but I'm not sure what they police."