General 18th Man Debate

Do you want to see an 18th man added to the bench?

  • Yes

  • Yes but with tight restrictions

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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,810
Mt. Wellington, Auckland

Rules rethink as NRL rocked by ‘catastrophic’ crisis

The NRL is under pressure to implement a dramatic change after the weekend from hell put the spotlight on the game’s glaring issue.
It was a painful weekend across the NRL.

James Matthey
MARCH 29, 20219:47AM


Calls are growing louder for the NRL to introduce an 18th man as a concussion substitute after the league was rocked by a spate of horror injuries on the weekend.

The Raiders were left with one fit player on the bench in their loss to the Warriors on Saturday while the Sharks played the entire second half with just 13 men in their 28-4 defeat to Parramatta.

Images of empty chairs on both teams’ benches exposed the alarming rate of injuries and particularly concussions, which some pundits are speculating may be related to new rules introduced this season that have sped the game up even further.

Dylan Edwards and Tom Eisenhuth suffered a broken hand and broken ribs respectively in Penrith’s win over Melbourne on Thursday, while the Roosters were crippled in their loss to South Sydney.

Lindsay Collins was taken to hospital after a shocking head knock, Lachlan Leeson Ah-Mau is facing six weeks out with a knee injury and gun halfback Luke Keary will likely miss the rest of the season after damaging his ACL.

The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield believes teams and doctors are taking concussion more seriously than ever, so are being more cautious about players returning to the field, and says stars are bigger, faster and stronger than at any point in history, increasing the risk of injury.

“Shame we’re not talking about the footy. It’s injuries and carnage — catastrophic carnage, you could say,” he told the Big Sports Breakfast.

“I can’t recall a casualty ward like we’ve got in the game at the moment.

“Sadly I think when you look at that Parramatta-Cronulla game the other night and they were left without a bench the entire second half, I think it affects the product.

Players are playing just to survive and stay on the field and are probably not as energetic as they would be if they had back-up ready to come onto the field.”

The NRL Commission will reportedly meet this week to discuss whether teams should be able to name an 18th man, who can be brought on in the event a player is ruled out with concussion.

“You can’t have a crackdown on concussion and then not do anything with the benches,” Rothfield said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an injury toll like it.”

Rugby league legend Laurie Daley said the 18th man should be introduced — as long as they are used only as concussion replacements, and not for any other injury like a hamstring strain or twisted knee.

Rothfield added: “I think it’s a really, really responsible thing to do because we don’t want to get to a stage where doctors are going to be under pressure to sign off on players coming back onto the field.

“With an 18th man, that eases the pressure on the doctors, the medical staff. It’s obviously a really big issue for the game.

“We’ve got to think about the players and their health and safety.

“I know we always have injuries at the start of the season but we’ve never had a game with so much fatigue in it, so much intensity ... in the history of the game.”

It was a painful weekend across the NRL.Source:Getty Images

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V’landys isn’t buying the new rules and increased speed of the game is to blame for the scary injury toll, telling The Daily Telegraph: “The injuries are on average with what they have been in previous years. Everything has to be done with the appropriate data and information to back it up.

“We are privy to information people don’t get so we can see if it’s an issue or not. I’m not ruling it (an 18th man) out but I am one of seven (ARL commissioners) and management will have a say as well. I’ve got an open mind and will try and do what is best for the game.”

 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,755
1 weekend should not define a competition. Like with the inexplicable HIA's coaches will just factor it into the game plan and next thing every other game will use 18 players.
 
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Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
10,580
1 weekend should not define a competition. Like with the inexplicable HIA's coaches will just factor it into the game plan and next thing every other game will use 18 players.
And the player who went off with an HIA will have Jesus visit him overnight, perform a miracle and the player will pass the concussion test in time to be named in the team on Tuesday.
 
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wizards rage

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 18, 2016
5,136
Tauranga
1 weekend should not define a competition. Like with the inexplicable HIA's coaches will just factor it into the game plan and next thing every other game will use 18 players.
There is a common pushback that coaches will just use the extra man.

But that’s actually saying the medical staff will wrought the system. They won’t... just like now, they don’t bring failed HIA players back as their medical reputation is on the line and they won’t have people ‘fail’ to use the extra player.
 
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gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,755
just 2 other thoughts on this, WHy stop at 18, what if you have 2 concussions, why not 19, or what if you have 3? Isnt an HIA failure the indication that a concussion has taken place?

lastly on Vlandys quote "Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V’landys isn’t buying the new rules and increased speed of the game is to blame for the scary injury toll" surely larger players playing at an up-tempo pace are more likely to injure themselves and others as fatigue sets in. This must be a consideration with the new direction of the game. Fatigue kills on the roads and players pushing more early on are expected to make mistakes, why wouldnt these affect the number of injuries on the pitch.
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,755
There is a common pushback that coaches will just use the extra man.

But that’s actually saying the medical staff will wrought the system. They won’t... just like now, they don’t bring failed HIA players back as their medical reputation is on the line and they won’t have people ‘fail’ to use the extra player.
i get that once they are off the field, but i personally have seen players go down with a leg injury suddenly going off for an HIA. While i trust the medical division, i dont trust the coaches. Also club doctors have had to be over ruled in the past, at the end of the day their allegiance is to their paycheck first.

plus have you any idea why they were giving one of the canbera players an extra 10 minutes to pass his HIA, after the first one failed. In commentary they said it was because the first guy failed, but that makes no sense, if he also failed why would they give him more time? That was from the two who had the head clash and i couldnt understand it then and still not now.
 

wizards rage

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 18, 2016
5,136
Tauranga
i get that once they are off the field, but i personally have seen players go down with a leg injury suddenly going off for an HIA. While i trust the medical division, i dont trust the coaches. Also club doctors have had to be over ruled in the past, at the end of the day their allegiance is to their paycheck first.

plus have you any idea why they were giving one of the canbera players an extra 10 minutes to pass his HIA, after the first one failed. In commentary they said it was because the first guy failed, but that makes no sense, if he also failed why would they give him more time? That was from the two who had the head clash and i couldnt understand it then and still not now.
If two players go off at the same time the second players time starts after the first player has finished as the doctors can’t do 2 at once I think.
 
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Miket12

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 20, 2012
10,580
I wonder if it comes down to the need constantly observe a player for the entire time. That may mean that they can only test one at a time.
 
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kabkram

1st Grade Fringe
Oct 21, 2015
487
Paul Kent on NRL360 suggested it only be used after 3 HIA's and I can see the logic in that it will happen so rarely as to be an anomaly when it does happen, even better if a failed HIA carried a mandatory one week stand down.
The whole reason for reducing the amount of interchanges in the first place was to bring fatigue into the equation, to have your smaller speedy guys running at fatiguing forwards, to give the punters a better spectacle. I for one applauded it at the time and still see no real reason to increase the number of interchanges or players on the bench, especially as has been noted above after one bad weekend, a weekend in which some pretty good footy was played and it was really only the Raiders who had two players take out each other whom were dramatically affected by HIA's.
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,755
Paul Kent on NRL360 suggested it only be used after 3 HIA's and I can see the logic in that it will happen so rarely as to be an anomaly when it does happen, even better if a failed HIA carried a mandatory one week stand down.
The whole reason for reducing the amount of interchanges in the first place was to bring fatigue into the equation, to have your smaller speedy guys running at fatiguing forwards, to give the punters a better spectacle. I for one applauded it at the time and still see no real reason to increase the number of interchanges or players on the bench, especially as has been noted above after one bad weekend, a weekend in which some pretty good footy was played and it was really only the Raiders who had two players take out each other whom were dramatically affected by HIA's.
were the sharks mostly other injuries, I know there were at least one HIA for the eels, and one for the Sharks but cant remember what else happened.
 

Inruin

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
May 19, 2012
10,559
Auckland
I think we go back to the 4 man bench and only 4 interchanges.

Would change the game to suiting the players with endurance.

Would open the game up more towards the ends of each half.

Would potentially reduce injuries from players getting bigger and faster year on year and creating bigger and bigger impacts and collisions
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,755
I think we go back to the 4 man bench and only 4 interchanges.

Would change the game to suiting the players with endurance.

Would open the game up more towards the ends of each half.

Would potentially reduce injuries from players getting bigger and faster year on year and creating bigger and bigger impacts and collisions
i thought this was the direction they were going, but things seemed to have changed with Vlandys involvement.
 

Ref

1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
663
Rotorua
I would have an extra sub who can be used only in the event of a non returning HIA having been injured by foul play.
Or the offender is off for the rest of the game but can be replaced.

On the law of averages every team will have a bad day at the office with a few injuries.
No different to a forward pass going our way now and again.
 
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Wellington Warrior

Warriors 1st Grader
May 15, 2012
6,014
Wellington, New Zealand
I would have an extra sub who can be used only in the event of a non returning HIA having been injured by foul play.
I agree.

Or you allow a replacement player for someone unable to return as a result of an HIA, but that player isn’t able to play the following week... no ifs but of maybes. Will stop to some extend gaming the system.

Or just have 5 or 6 players on a bench... but keep the interchanges at the same or lesser than they currently have. Make the interchanges more strategic.
 

J_P

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 4, 2020
966
And the player who went off with an HIA will have Jesus visit him overnight, perform a miracle and the player will pass the concussion test in time to be named in the team on Tuesday.
Good work around. If an 18th player is used the concussed player can't play in the next game?
 

Boats n Hoes

1st Grade Fringe
May 14, 2012
1,780
I think we go back to the 4 man bench and only 4 interchanges.

Would change the game to suiting the players with endurance.

Would open the game up more towards the ends of each half.

Would potentially reduce injuries from players getting bigger and faster year on year and creating bigger and bigger impacts and collisions
100%

Even tho it was only in 1 team's favour how much did that game on the weekend open up once the Raiders hit the wall? Blueprint right there how the game should go for mine.

Must have been refreshing for a guy like Kodi to have a tiring and not the constant wall but a staggered line in defence to run at, fatigue brings back into the game the guys with speed, footwork and skill rather than the generic across the board 6 foot 2, 100kg "athlete" that's dominating atm.
 

gpred

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Sep 23, 2016
1,008
I'm not sure where I sit on this one yet. My concern would be that it is open to abuse.

What I do know is that the NRL have drawn attention to forward pass technology and the 18th man all in a week where the Warriors benefited from a lack of both.

Coincidence? I think not,

I wish the NRL would be a little less transparent in their efforts to ensure the Warriors never succeed, and most of all never win a premiership.
 

john nick

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 28, 2020
3,464
tauranga
100%

Even tho it was only in 1 team's favour how much did that game on the weekend open up once the Raiders hit the wall? Blueprint right there how the game should go for mine.

Must have been refreshing for a guy like Kodi to have a tiring and not the constant wall but a staggered line in defence to run at, fatigue brings back into the game the guys with speed, footwork and skill rather than the generic across the board 6 foot 2, 100kg "athlete" that's dominating atm.
The most important thing is to protect guys from head injuries
 

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