Teams deliberately conceding strings of penalties on their own goal line is just good tactics according to Craig Bellamy, the Melbourne mentor conceding the NRL is powerless to stop the strategy which shapes as crucial in the finals series.
The Storm attack was thwarted by the tactic in their 22-8 loss to the Raiders in Canberra in round 23’s concluding game on Monday.
Bellamy said the practice was now commonplace.
“it is very common,” he said.
“I have no doubt that happens but that is just good tactics. They were leading 22-8.
“We were not going to kick penalty goals we were going for tries. Having said that Canberra is not the only side doing it and I don’t know what you do about it.
“To me it was pretty good tactics. When you are worried someone is going to get a quick play the ball, you just slow it down and give a penalty away.
“At the end of the day I don’t have a problem with it because it has been happening for a long time.”
Even so, it’s hard to ignore the fact that fans almost certainly do have a problem with it and it is robbing the NRL of good attacking football.
Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson is credited with pioneering the tactic in the Tricolours’ charge to the 2013 premiership.
Bellamy conceded he had coached it too.
“Sometimes but not overly,” he said.
“I am just worried about our defence down there. The experienced players probably can pick when there is a good opportunity to do that.
“A couple of years ago the Roosters were getting criticised for it but unless they start putting guys in the sinbin after two of them what do you do about it?
“That is up to the guys that make the rules.
“But you can’t do it all day because you will have your line broken at some stage.”