NRL accused of ‘lacking respect’ in argument with players over speed of the game

The Rugby League Players Association has accused the NRL of lacking respect for the game’s stars after head office released statistics arguing the game is not drastically faster or inducing more fatigue than in recent years.

In the same week RLPA general president Daly Cherry-Evans said the NRL had become “hybrid touch OzTag” given its frenetic nature, the NRL hit back on Thursday releasing a number of metrics about the season to date.

NRL players have questioned whether the game is too fast for their own good.Credit:Getty

“Players have provided the RLPA with direct feedback throughout the season regarding changes to the level of fatigue and match demands, which has been shared with the NRL,” the RLPA said in a statement.

“While it may not have been the intention, dismissing the feelings and experiences of players as ‘perception’ in this statement lacks awareness and respect for those playing the game.

“The need for transparency has never been more important and the RLPA will request further data from the NRL and clubs before confirming our position and making any recommendations for change.”

The NRL said 7.7 tries were being scored per game compared to just 6.6 in 2019, while the number of play-the-balls per game had actually decreased from 288 to 284 from last year to this season.

Players have also been logged as running 6600 metres on average per game in 2021, down from a high of 7180 in 2020.

But the amount of high speed efforts (running at more than 20km/h) had risen, with players averaging 299 metres per game at that speed compared to 277 last year.

“A lot of people are saying the high tackles are a result of player fatigue, therefore their timing is off and they’re not positioned to make tackles,” NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.

“What the data shows is in terms of the speed of the game, it’s not that much different to what it has been the previous two years and the data is pretty constant. There are a lot of opinions out there and people are entitled to their opinion, but we’re just trying to put some facts out there and people can make their own opinions on that as well.

“There are other factors that will need to be considered at the end of the season, but we want to get some balance in the debate.”

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox each weekday. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in Sport

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article