NRL 5 months ago

NRL scraps zero-tackle 20m tap for Nines

  • NRL scraps zero-tackle 20m tap for Nines

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 05: (L-R) Roger Tuivasa-Scheck, Johnathan Thurston, Issac Luke and Shaun Johnson pose with the NRL Nines trophy during the 2017 Auckland Nines Launch at Eden Park on October 5, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The NRL will get another look at life without the zero-tackle rule on 20-metre taps after scrapping it for next month's Auckland Nines.

The rule appears likely to stay for the 2017 NRL season, however it won't feature in the February 4-5 tournament when an error is committed in the attacking in-goals or a ball is kicked out or marked by a defender.

While the rule has been a part of the NRL since 2014 in a bid to stop the negative play of kicking the ball dead, it presented an advantage in the Nines with four less defenders and a tackle count that ordinarily stops at five.

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It should also prompt more attacking play closer to the try-line, with teams now more likely to attempt a try through kicking in the air and along the ground.

The rule change is the only alteration from last year's tournament.

Numerous teams were criticised during last year's regular season as they opted to run it on the last close to the line rather than kick and risk giving away the seven-tackle set.

Meanwhile any rule changes for the 2017's competition proper are yet to be finalised.

However it's understood the NRL and the competition's committee are considering introducing fines for minor judiciary offences rather than the accumulation of small points penalties.

Also likely to be on the agenda is the controversial golden-point rule, which was modified to a mandatory 10 minutes of extra time for last year's finals series.

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