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Sport NRL 2020: Major rule changes and 'new competition' format should see all teams start on zero, Dean Pay says

07:46  15 may  2020
07:46  15 may  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Bulldogs coach Dean Pay believes the new rules and shortened structure of the competition should mean all clubs start on zero points.

A decision to revert back to one referee for the remainder of the 2020 season as well as introduce a new six again rule for ruck infringements were confirmed by the NRL in recent days.

The decision, which was backed by ARLC chairman Peter V'landys and the NRL Project Apollo committee, has ignited debate among coaches and players in recent days.

Prior to the confirmation of a shortened 20-round competition being used to restart the season on May 28th, there were suggestions all clubs would begin the new competition on zero points.

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And Pay, whose side have already started the season with two losses, believes in the interests of integrity the new major changes to the game should prompt a "new competition".

"We're back to a 20-round competition, we've gone from two refs to one ref now and then we've had a major rule change," the Bulldogs coach said on Friday.

"For me, it certainly looks like a new competition from the one that we started with at the start of the year.

"For where we sit I can't see why we can't have every team starting from zero points again."

However, with the season's resumption a mere two weeks away, Pay says there is no time for coaches to kick up a fuss.

"What it is is what it is, we've just got to get on with it, embrace and try and put the best product out that we can," he added.

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The rule changes, in particular, are expected to favour teams that possess speed, with V'landys saying the intention is to disincentivise teams from slowing the ruck down.

Pay said the Bulldogs have already begun to look at ways his side can capitalise on the new format.

"With the extra six again there's going to be a fair bit of speed coming into to," he said.

"We're hoping that we don't give too many of those away and we want to get as many as we can. It's important you do all the small parts of the game really well and make sure you complete really well.

"If you're doing all those things and you're not giving too many penalties away and no six agains you're going to put yourself in the game."

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