Rugby League’s latest experimental rule to be trialled during Saturday’s All Star clash at Skilled Park has Benji Marshall’s name written all over it.
After introducing the “double try” rule in last year’s inaugural clash between the Indigenous and NRL All Stars, this year’s showdown will be spiced up by a rule which rewards the attacking team with another set of six tackles if they kick and regain the ball in their half.
It’s tailor-made for someone as naturally gifted and brilliant with the football as Marshall, whose deft flick passes and no-look off-loads form a regular part of his repertoire.
Advertisement: Story continues below “I think I’m going to have to ban myself from chip-and-chases, the same as I banned myself from flick passes last year (All Stars), so you’ll probably see about 10 of them!,” said Marshall.
“I think it’s a great rule. It gives you a chance to try your hand a bit more in your own half, get the ball back and get the set started again.”
The rule, embraced by most players since being announced earlier this week, will transport Marshall back to his high school days when he first showed off his razzle dazzle talent playing for famed rugby league nursery Keebra Park on the Gold Coast.
“I used to chip on the first tackle at school,” said the 25 year-old Wests Tigers star, who’ll play inside All Stars skipper Darren Lockyer and opposite Indigenous halfback Johnathan Thurston.
While NRL coach Wayne Bennett is renowned for keeping risks to a minimum, he is unlikely to restrict a player of Marshall’s class in a game where attacking flair is abundant.
However, Lockyer, always the wise head, warned the fancy chip-n-chase play came with risks.
“The risk is, if it doesn’t come off, you’ve given the opposition great field position,” said Lockyer.
"It’ll be a calculated risk but I think it’s a nice rule to trial.
“We could see halfbacks back defending in the second line and the fullbacks will have to change their game a bit because a lot of times they stand deep in defence.”
But Lockyer did agree that Marshall would love the rule.
“He does it now and the rule doesn’t even exist in the NRL,” he said.
"But there’s a couple tricky customers in opposition team too who can chip and regather.
"It’s a risk and reward option.
“If (Scott) Prince or Thurston have the ball and you’re defending on the edge where I am, you have to think `I have to hold back for the kick’ so it changes the way you think.”
westTAHger last edited by
its going to make the all stars game even a better spectacle.
would not be suprised if is used alot, when tiring forward are noticed by opponents.
I think the rule needs a little tweeking. Make it 10-15m not 5, and make the kick have to go beyond where the defensive line was set (basically meaning they have to kick through or over the defensive line, rather that poking a little on short of it to an outside man).