Roosters coach Trent Robinson believes recent rule changes and interpretations by the NRL are making the game too conservative and inhibit attacking football.
Robinson says he supported Stephen Kearney's frustrated call to "piss off" the new stripping rule that provided one of many controversial moments in Saturday's Eels-Warriors thriller, with the Roosters coach arguing last year's rule change only benefits defending teams.
The NRL ruled over the 2018 pre-season that a strip would be allowed with more than one defender in the tackle provided there is only one player involved in a one-on-one strip when it occurs.
Along with several line-ball forward pass calls – notably against Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on Saturday and Roosters fullback James Tedesco 24 hours later – Robinson believes recent shifts in officiating have been too conservative.
"You've got the strips, [where] players have got three tacklers on them and they're trying to fight off three, two of them drop off and then strip the ball, sure, we can see that as being a different type of footy," Robinson said.
"But then if you don't strip it ends up in the slowest play-the-ball of the day. So where's the advantage for the attack?
"You don't get it stripped off you but there's no quick play-the-ball advantage. There's actually no advantage whatsoever."
Robinson agrees with Kearney on stripping rule
Robinson is regarded as one of the sharpest minds in the game, and served on the NRL's Competition Committee from 2015-17.
The two-time premiership winner believes officials have been "really pedantic" of late in regards to forward-pass calls, which are made in a split second with no ability for on-field referees to refer to the NRL Bunker.
"You've got to be sure If you're unsure let the play keep going with an attacking advantage," Robinson said of forward passes.
"We want to allow attacking advantage to rule in our game. That's why we love watching it.
"It's not about the refs today. I think we're seeing it every weekend for months.
"I think they've over corrected is what I would say … I don't see how the promotion of attack has won in those two rule changes.
"It's not on the refs ... it's two interpretations of rules that haven't allowed for flow. When I was on the competition committee [priorities] were ball-in-play, open-ended attacking footy, stuff that people want to watch.
"Unpredictability with the strip, I can understand that. But it's not unpredictable if either the defender gets the ball or it ends up in a really, really slow play-the-ball."
Robinson's reasonably measured analysis comes amid fierce focus on the on-field officiating and the match review committee.
Warriors CEO Cameron George has asked the NRL for a please-explain over several calls in their loss to the Eels, and urged Kiwi fans to attend next Friday's clash with Canberra dressed as referees.
"Let's give Canberra a bit of their own back in terms of what New Zealand's all about," George said on NZ radio on Sunday.
"Everyone can bring a whistle if they want and have a bit of fun with it.
"Some major calls have left us baffled as to how they achieved them and the outcome to those calls were significant in terms of the result of the game."