Cleary says kickers protection 'a farce' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cleary says kickers protection 'a farce'

By Tamara McLean 28/03/2009 10:40:04 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand Warriors coach Ivan Cleary has hit out at the NRL referees' crackdown to give kickers more protection, saying the new interpretation of the rules was becoming a farce.

Referees have been ordered to be more strict on players charging at kickers in 2009, with contact no longer allowed with a player kicking a ball except when making a tackle.

But Cleary said the new rules needed to be eased while Warriors captain Steve Prince accused some kickers of using the crackdown to milk penalties.

"It's become a farce in my view," Cleary said after his side's 26-10 loss to Brisbane in Auckland.

"If you're kicking the ball, what's the difference between when you kick it and then the fullback who stands under it can be hit by four blokes as soon as he catches it?

"If it's about safety, that's hypocrisy in my opinion."

Cleary said the rules were letting kickers "have all day" and put the ball wherever they wanted.

"That's something that's got to be fixed and quickly," he said.

Price said he had re-watched all matches so far this year and found some kickers were taking advantage of the new interpretation of the rules.

"There's a couple of guys that are taking full advantage of that and getting two or three penalties every weekend and penalties at the moment are making a big difference in games," Price said.

One such penalty was awarded to each side in Saturday's match at Mt Smart Stadium.

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