Smith fears scrum rule will be exploited

Rather than fast track the game, Cameron Smith fears the new scrum shot clock will do the opposite this season after admitting he let it give his side a breather in the NRL All Stars clash at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The World All Stars captain was a standout in their 12-8 win over the Indigenous side in front of 37,339 fans but did not sound impressed by the new scrum shot clock.

It was among the new rules to be introduced this season that made their debut on Saturday night.

Under new guidelines, teams now have 35 seconds to pack a scrum and 30 seconds for dropouts, or else the offending team will give away a penalty.

“I will be honest. I thought it gave us a chance to have a rest if anything,” Smith said.

“There were a few times early on when we were at the scrum with 25 seconds left on the clock.

“I used my brain and told the boys to wait another 20 seconds.

“It might change a bit. It might be different when you take the unlimited interchange out of the game.

“That’s the way it panned out tonight.”

World All Stars coach Wayne Bennett said referees will need to police the rule to ensure teams don’t exploit it this season especially with the interchange also to be reduced from 10 to eight this year.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to (take advantage of it),” he said.

“Once the scrum is packed it’s not like you have 35 seconds left.

“The rule is to get the scrum packed and let’s get on with the game.

“The refs may have to look at their interpretation of it.”

“I remember watching thinking ‘this is not what we want’.

“We were all sitting there waiting for the time clock to come down, that’s not the idea of the rule.”

Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley admitted it was “frustrating” to witness.

“At one stage I think they waited for 20 seconds (to pack a scrum),” he said.

“It was frustrating watching it.

“I don’t know what the answer is.”

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