Ban on kick-offs? NRL experts battle it out over controversial issue

Julian Miller
By: Julian Miller
04/04/2024
News
BettingTop10 News
Players and pundits were split on NRL kick-off ban

“It will kill the game,” said Paul Kent on NRL 360 this Tuesday. Other panellists and players disagreed. 

News Insights

  • An NRL kick-off ban is reportedly being discussed at the league office.
  • Players and pundits engaged in a heated debate about the topic on Tuesday’s NRL 360.
  • Paul Kent believes “it will kill the game.”
  • Dean Ritchie says it needs to go.

There are few issues more controversial in the NRL right now than whether to ban the kick-off. This nature of this fierce debate was on full display on Tuesday’s NRL 360 show on Fox Sports. Panellists, including former Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters star Braith Anasta, were split on the topic and engaged in a fierce debate.  

“The great debate” about the kick-off ban 

The great debate, the ban of the kick-off,” Braith Anasta said to kick-off NRL 360 on Tuesday before turning over to his panellists. A great debate is exactly what ensued.  
 
Dean “Bulldog'” Ritchie, a veteran NRL journalist with over 30-years experience, revealed that he has been speaking to players about the ban, including to Penrith Panthers legend Greg Alexander.  
 
I spoke to Greg Alexander and Brandy gave me a couple of quotes, and he is another advocate for it to be considered to be banned,” Ritchie said, before clarifying, “I’m not calling for it to be banned. All I’m saying is, is it a discussion that we will have to have in the next two to three years.” 
 
This comment sparked a spirited response from Paul Kent, another experienced NRL journo, and Braith Anasta.  
 
The answer is no. [We don't have to consider a ban,]  because it’s rugby league. Ok, let me just start going through it. They play the game willingly, ok. They are well-paid to play the game,” Kent asserted, before going into a fiery defence of how the game is currently played and arguing that the players need to change, not the rule.  
 
It is their decision to catch the ball and to accelerate. There’s nothing in the rules that says you have to accelerate into the line the way they do,” Kent said.  
 
There’s nothing in the rules that say you have to defend that tackle like they do, with two players either side of the bloke in the middle, all standing upright. They can change the way they tackle. They don’t have to run the ball back into the line as they do.” 
 
Change the way they play. Why does the rule have to be changed because the players or the coaches are coaching them to do a certain thing that’s not beneficial to them?” 

Kick-off alternatives 

The debate spiralled into a fierce back and forth before Ritchie suggested the league shorten the length of kick-offs to 20 metres.  
“I’m not saying ban it. You misunderstand me. I am saying in due course I think they will get rid of that heavy collision and they will start with a 20-metre tap,” Ritchie said.  
 
That’s embarrassing,” Kent immediately responded, with Anasta agreeing.  
 
I’m hammering the NRL because no one in there is listening, And the fact that they’re even allowing this conversation to gain momentum, is once again another embarrassment for the game,” Kent went on also to say.  

Despite Kent’s protests, there will likely be some review of the kick-off rule in the coming years. There have been three knockouts on kick-offs just this season, and a growing awareness of concussion issues in rugby. Whether there are changes is too early to say, but there no doubt will be discussions.  

#
Betting Site
Brand Features
Bet Now
1
Best App
playup-betting-site
PlayUp
5.0
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Best Handicap
2
New Pick
betright-logo-betting-site
BetRight
4.8
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Bet Right Discord
3
boombet logo betting site
BoomBet
4.8
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Great Customer Service
4
PUNTERS' FAVORITE
dabble-logo-betting-sites
Dabble
4.8
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Copy Bets & Follow other punters
5
SPORTS PICK
bet365-logo-betting-sites
Bet365
4.8
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Best Bet Builder
6
New Pick
questbet-logo-betting-sites
QuestBet
4.7
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Solid Mobile App
7
elitebet-logo-betting-sites
EliteBet
4.7
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Regular money-back specials
8
Best for Greyhound
chasebet-logo-betting-sites
Chasebet
4.6
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Trending Bets
9
NEW
betgalaxy-logo-betting-sites
Betgalaxy
4.6
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Fun betting experience
10
wellbet-logo-betting-sites
WellBet
4.6
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Simple, Localised Betting
11
volcanobet-logo-betting-site
Volcanobet
4.5
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Fresh betting platform
12
HOT
puntgenie logo-betting-sites
PuntGenie
4.5
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Revolutionary Betting Interface
13
Popular Choice
puntnow-logo-betting-sites
PuntNow
4.4
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
competitive odds
14
juicybet logo-betting-site
JuicyBet
4.4
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Swift sign-up process
15
Best For Racing
vicbet-logo-betting-site
VicBet
4.4
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Racing specialists
16
betroyale-logo-betting-sites
BetRoyale
4.4
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Sleek Design
17
Best For Racing
midasbet logo-betting-site
MidasBet
4.4
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Opening Specials
18
winnersbet-logo-betting-sites
WinnersBet
4.3
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Daily Promotions
19
BetProfessor Betting Site
BetProfessor
4.3
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Slick app
20
goldenrush Betting Site
GoldenRush
4.3
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Top Bonuses
21
unibet-logo-betting-site
Unibet Australia
4.3
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Bet Share
22
sterling-parker-Betting Site
SterlingParker
4.2
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Quality software & layout
23
junglebet Betting Site
JungleBet
4.2
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Refreshing website theme
24
getsetbet logo-betting-site
GetSetBet
4.2
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
GetSetBet TV
25
puntcity Betting Site
PuntCity
4.1
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Same game multis available
26
Best for e-Sports
picklebet-Betting Site
Picklebet
4.0
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Engaging App
27
draftstars-Betting Site
Draftstars
4.0
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Fantasy Sports
28
topsport-white
TopSport
4.0
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
High betting limits
29
Best App
bluebet Betting Site
BlueBet
4.0
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Same Race & Game Multis
30
palmerbet-Betting Site
Palmerbet
3.9
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Great Promotions
31
real-bookie Betting Site
RealBookie
3.9
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Regular Offers
32
Best for Greyhound
betdogs-white Betting Site
BetDogs
2.8
australian-flag-icon-round-32x32.webp
AUS Licensed
Great betting odds