Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Captains Can Stamp out Blight of Diving

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Captains Can Stamp out Blight of Diving

Article excerpt

ONLY one group, the players themselves, can effectively put a stop to the incidence of "diving" in the NRL.

It is a blight on the game and has gained alarming momentum in season 2013. But the lead must come from the captains.

The NRL can introduce as many stipulations and rule variations as it likes, but unless the players want this practice stamped out there will be those who find a way to feign an injury in the hope of scoring a penalty.

Old school I may be, but I'm not a believer in what is old is always good.

The adage "what happens on the field stays on the field" was buried when video replays became a part of the jurisdiction.

And while the video referee is now an irritating part of the game, in the majority of cases the correct result is adjudicated.

But more often than not when a player stays down after a glancing blow to the head -- a prevalence of late -- it is nothing more than to milk a penalty. And that is not in the spirit of the game.

The current NRL captains form a powerful group. Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Robbie Farah, Anthony Minichiello, Paul Gallen, Sam Thaiday, Kurt Gidley, Jamie Lyon and Michel Ennis are highly regarded and well respected among their peers. If they were to decide collectively that diving in the game was a no-no, the practice would cease.

And rather than have the covenant formalised, a gentleman's agreement would hold more sway among the players.

This same coalition should also agree to outlaw dubious tackling techniques, such as the one for which Jeff Lima was recently suspended.

They are the leaders of their men and it is them who can dictate how our game is played, and how the current generation of players is remembered.

Rugby league -- at NRL level -- is a brutal, unforgiving sport played by tough young men, but that should not mean it can't be played within a certain spirit. It's time to bring back some old-school values.

A tough gig

THE Titans have secured themselves a good man in new chief executive Graham Annesley -- and hopefully he is the right man.

Since big-time rugby league hit the Gold Coast in 1988 with the Giants, the game has never been able to grab more than a toehold. …

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