Are Kickers Now Completely Off Limits In The NRL?

In 2023 we are seeing more and more penalties given against defenders when they pressure kickers in general play.

Rules were brought into the NRL to protect kickers from sustaining lower leg injuries. As a kicker is in a vulnerable position, with no change to protect themselves due to the mechanics of kicking a ball, the move was soon as a pretty admirable one by the NRL.

The last thing we want to see are kickers in the NRL sustaining broken legs, head high tackles or ended up being tackles passed the horizontal. However like most crackdowns by the NRL, things have gone way too far and we are not at a point where a kicker almost can not be touched in any way at all.

Players have been penalised from charging the ball down trying to prevent field goals. Others have been penalised for tackling kickers just as the ball leaves their foot in completely legal hits, arms wrapped around the player, that wouldn’t even rate a mention in any other part of the field.

It has got to the point where NRL commentator Cooper Cronk has suggested we need an “unnecessary roughness” brought into the NRL for when a kicker gets tackled…an absolutely ridiculous idea!

There is nothing at all wrong with tackling a kicker legally, and we should avoid getting to any situation where kickers are now allowed to have any pressure put on them at all because of knee-jerk reactions by commentators and former halves, all of whom panicked and clutch their pearls any time a halfback gets hit in a good hard tackle.

Andrew Johns is terrible when it comes to doing this. Any time a halfback runs at the line, not even looking at the defenders in front of him, and he gets hit by a defender, Johns has a cry and suggests it is an illegal tackle that should be “stamped out”.

Halfbacks should watch where they are going.

Similarly, if a kicker does not want to get tackles, stand deeper, get to your kick quicker, and if you get tackles dont feel like you need to get up and pretend you’re going to fight someone…because we all know you won’t.

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