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How I'd tweak points system for draws and extra time

There needs to be a reward for a draw and I also believe in the theatre of a golden point-game, so it should be kept. We need to have our cake and eat it too.

This might sound odd, with the eventual losing team being rewarded but these close battles where scores are level after 80 minutes are hard fought and highly-entertaining. Two teams going at each other trying to get the upper hand. 

No team should walk off the field with nothing.

So in those situations, I feel a draw should equate to one point for each team. And then we go into extra time, and whoever wins in golden point gets another competition point.

If it's still a draw after extra time the points stay the same anyway with one competition point each.

There would be a mathematical matrix applied to see how many draws and golden points there have been throughout the year, or historically, and how it affects the ultimate outcome of the NRL table at the end of the regular season.

Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

There could be other variances once this is done, for instance a win could amount to three points but regardless it still doesn’t affect the fact that the losing side should be rewarded when there’s a draw after 80 minutes.

And while we’re on game-time issues, what we saw happen to Cooper Cronk and Blake Green are in my opinion, bona fide sin-bin actions.

There are provisions to use the sin-bin for those late and dangerous tackles, so let’s use it. If the match review committee takes the matter further, as happened with Tevita Pangai and Moeaki Fotuaiki, then so be it.

Generally the ball-players and kickers in your team are the same person. The object of the opposition is to shut them down and limit their time.

But if a tackle is late or goes awry – for example if you hit them in the legs while in the air and they fall awkwardly – then in both instances they warrant the sin-bin.

There’s got to be some accountability on the defender, or ball chaser. Certainly edge players can be targeted themselves and can become fatigued, which can affect their decision-making. But all players need to be game-aware.

Everyone knows there’s a fair chance that kickers, as they release the footy, will be subjected to contact. But it’s the lateness of it all and where they are hit.

In the good old days, you took the ball players out so they couldn’t get involved in the next play. But today, structures are that strong and well-practised, I feel you have the ability to pull out of it – to be more aware.

Match Highlights: Roosters v Broncos

Finally, I see the NRL has released tickets this week for October’s Telstra Premiership grand final on October 6.

Immediately lots of wonderful memories come flooding back to me of my time at the Raiders. We won three grand finals and for me, it’s quite easy to remember the standout: the first one – the 1989 grand final win over Balmain.

It’s considered one of the greatest ever. It meant so much to the city of Canberra – the reaction was huge.

It was the first time a team outside of Sydney had won; it was the first time a team outside the top three had won; and the circumstances that unfolded throughout the game created so many defining moments.

Raiders teammates Mal Meninga and John Ferguson.
Raiders teammates Mal Meninga and John Ferguson. ©NRL Photos

Personally, for me, to go to Sydney and play in the NSWRL competition instilled strong belief in my ability. That a Queenslander could go south and mix it with the best and be part of a premiership team was very satisfying.

Players from eras prior to 1988 when Brisbane and Gold Coast-Tweed entered the competition had to prove themselves before their talents were respected and recognised. It does get the pessimists off your back.

Another memory was winning the BRL grand final with Souths Magpies against Redcliffe in 1981, coached by rugby league legend Bob McCarthy. But any grand final, regardless of what competition it's played in, is so special.

Each grand final is a moment in time of rugby league history. To me, that’s why we play the game. To be with your mates and finishing the year as the best team in the comp!


Experience the passion and spine tingling action of the NRL Telstra Premiership grand final. A day truly not to be missed, with action both on and off the field there is something for everyone to experience and enjoy.


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