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A change to make field goals kicked from beyond 40 metres worth two points rather than one was an unexpected part of Friday's rule change announcement – but will we see many kicked in 2021?

NRL.com Stats has run the rule over the field goals kicked through the 2020 season and found just one successful attempt out of 10 for field goal shots kicked from beyond the 40-metre line.

And that came before the break and revamped rules, all the way back in round one.

With the Broncos forced into a line drop-out right before half-time, Jamayne Isaako sent the ball long and Cowboys captain Michael Morgan calmly gathered it and potted the 41-metre attempt with the defence unable to apply any real pressure.

Jamie Soward's 26 career field goals are the most of the NRL era and the St George Illawarra 2010 premiership winner believes the new rule change is unlikely to see much more action than last season's 20/40 rule.

"I don't think people or teams will try it unless it's right at the death, last play of the game or last play before half-time due to the seven-tackle rule and how hard it is to actually kick a field goal," Soward told NRL.com.

"Moving it outside the 40 metres for me is a weird one, I don't anticipate an influx of setting up for field goals to get one extra point."

After eight rule changes were announced by the ARL Commission on Friday morning, Soward said there was another area of the game he would like to see altered.

Reynolds kicks three field goals

"If you want to tweak one, I'm still banging on about the seven-tackle rule," he added.

"The one thing we don't talk about enough is the decline in halfbacks kicking early for their wingers or that enterprising play of putting in a grubber on play three without the risk of seven tackles.

"For me, this [two-point field goals] is a small aesthetic change. Much like the 20/40 rule, no one was calling for two points for a field goal outside 40."

Of the nine further attempts of 40 metres or more apart from Morgan's boomer, two of the unsuccessful shots came from Panthers young gun Matt Burton in the round-three draw against Newcastle.

The Dragons missed twice from outside 40 via Corey Norman and Zac Lomax in a one-point loss to the Cowboys in round 17. There was even a shot from outside 50 from Raiders halfback George Williams against the Eels in round seven.

Of course, with the added incentive of an extra point, there could well be more than 10 attempts from outside 40 in 2021 but by the same token, defences will be aware of the possibility.

Field goals were still tough to kick from closer to the target.

A little more than 35% (five of 14) attempts were successful from between 30 and 40 metres out and one of six went over from short range inside the 20-metre zone.

Morgan coolly slots a 40m field goal

The sweet spot was between the 20 and 30 metre lines, when sides were able to take a hit-up close to the line then fire the ball back away from racing defensive lines but even then less than half (12 from 26) of those attempts were successful.

The two-point field goal has been brought in "to encourage more unstructured play and increase the chances of a result changing in the final moments of a game".

While that will be a distinct possibility, teams will know that if they are up by a point and their rivals can't get inside 40 metres in the dying stages then they are likely to be fairly safe.