Shot clock will favour Raiders: Croker

The NRL shot clock to be tested in Canberra’s clash against Parramatta on Sunday will play right into the Raiders’ game plan, according to skipper Jarrod Croker.

Rugby league fans will get an early look at the rule change set to come in next season when the countdown gets trialled in the top grade for the first time this weekend.

Croker says the implementation is a good thing for his team.

“We think we’ve got a pretty fit forward pack, so it’ll play in our hands a little bit,” he said on Thursday.

“But in saying that, there are times in the game when teams do kick the ball out to get a breather, so that won’t be happening.

“It should be a fast game. I’m sure the big boys are pretty excited by it all.”

As experimented in the under-20s over the past fortnight, teams will have 30 seconds for line dropouts and 35 seconds to pack scrums.

Should either side not pack in time, a penalty will be awarded to the opposition.

While the new laws have been brought in to minimise time-wasting, Croker believes there will be a notable increase in the speed of the game.

“It has to. If you don’t speed it up, you’re going to get penalised by the sound of things,” he said.

“So we’ll go talk to the boys about it and make sure we’re on par with it all.”

The competition’s leading pointscorer also predicted that the governing body could also introduce a countdown for goalkickers.

“I’d say they’ll probably think about that if they’re thinking about all this sorts of stuff. But we’ll see how this goes first,” he said.

The interchange will also drop from 10 to eight next season.

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