Graham Annesley Is Out Of His Depth And Out Of Control

Cause and effect. It is a really simple concept to understand, and one that is must easier to have a grasp of when you’re dealing with the rules of a sport.

Graham Annesley is the head of elite football at the NRL. He is basically supposed to be an overseer of what happens on the field in terms of the rules we play under, how the referees are going and judiciary decisions.

In the last 18 months the NRL has changed these rules AFTER a season has kicked off on numerous occasions. These have included removing a referee from the field, changing the numbers of players a team can have eligible to participate in a match, and now the rule that players will be sin binned for making ANY contract with an opposition players head in a tackle.

It was only a couple of years ago when the idea of changing rules mid season was seen as something that could not be allowed to happen. In 2021 rule changes are almost happening on a weekly basis.

The crazy thing about the rule changes over the last 18 months is that the NRL keeps chasing its tail and trying to fix problems it has created with previous rule changes.

By removing one of the referees from the field we have less on field officials watching what is happening on the field at any one time. That has seen a return to messy play the balls, a lot of missed indiscretions in play, and even facilitated the push for a “captions challenge” so that teams could stop a game and review these missed calls.

The “six again” rules have led to blowout score lines, messy play, players under extreme fatigue and a drop in tackling technique which in itself has led to more injuries and more illegal tackles. This was all obviously going to happen, but the NRL pushed this rule through thanks to a request by the head of a broadcaster (believe it or not!).

Because of all the extra injuries, including a rise in head high tackles, the NRL brought in an extra player on the bench. Changing the number of players that can be lined up for a team mid season….thats outrageous. Of course this system was immediately abused by clubs and it did nothing to lessen the number of head trauma in a game that players were receiving.

Now we have sin bins any time a player receives contract to the head in a tackle. No matter if its a graze, a slap, a player slides into a defensive player, a player is completely unaffected by the head contract….its madness.

Of course in the face of overwhelming criticism the NRL has started attacking people, saying anyone who has complained is part of a “minority” and calling their complaints “white noise”.

You see, the current NRL administration is immune to criticism. Just ask them!

As the head of elite football the buck stops with Graham Annesley. If Peter V’Landys wants to randomly change the games rules on a whim, thats fine, but its Graham Annesley’s job to say NO. That these rule changes will cause too many other problems.

Graham Annesley HAS TO GO and the Australian Rugby League Commission needs to pull Petter V’Landys into line. The game can not just be changed by one person on a personal whim. The ARLC are custodians of the sport, and they have an obligation to protect the sport from any influence that may effect it in a negative matter, including those from within.

I wrote this week about Graham Annesley’s ridicule have hour variety show he hosts each week on the NRL website. So on top of this embarrassing situation, he simply isn’t doing his job either.

He needs to go.

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