'Filthy': NRL under fire over plans to strip competition points

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Mitchell Pearce looks on as the Knights win.
Mitchell Pearce said he would be "filthy" if the NRL stripped the Knights of their points to start a new conference competition. (Getty Images)

Mitchell Pearce has sent a warning to the NRL that being stripped of competition points to start a new ‘conference plan’ tournament would not go down well with the players.

A radical proposal to isolate two 'bubbles' of teams, in NSW and Queensland, for a 14-week regular season is believed to be gathering steam at league central.

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One conference would include eight Sydney-based teams, while the remaining eight sides would be quarantined in the sunshine state.

There are suggestions points earned from the two rounds of games completed before the coronavirus-enforced shutdown could be scrapped.

This prompted Knights captain Pearce to slam the notion of starting the competition again.

"I haven't even spoken to Dad, but I would be filthy if they took the points off us," Pearce told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"We want our four points. I'm sure Cameron Smith would be saying the same thing for the Storm. We had two of our best players get injured [including hooker Jayden Brailey, ACL] and that can't be for nothing."

Tallis slams NRL conference plan

Broncos legend Gordon Tallis also slammed the plan claiming one conference would be stronger than the other.

Only two of the six teams that one their opening two rounds would play in the proposed Sydney comp: Penrith and Parramatta.

St George Illawarra, based one hour south of Sydney in Wollongong, could be asked to cross the border along with Newcastle Knights.

Each team would face each other twice before a four-week finals series, taking the entire season to 18 weeks, not including State of Origin.

The idea is understood to be one of a handful of scenarios the innovation committee will consider when it meets on Thursday.

Gordon Tallis pointing out some moves in training.
Gordon Tallis gives the players some advice during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session on May 29, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Only two of the six teams who won their opening two games of the season come out of Sydney: Parramatta and Penrith.

The other four are Newcastle, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, all four of whom would be allocated to the non-Sydney conference.

Tallis, who played 16 Tests for Australia, is not convinced by the two-conference plan.

"I don't believe in two conferences. I really don't," he said on Fox League Live.

"If you're a Queenslander, and you're going to go to Sydney and play in front of an empty stadium, then you've got to go.

"Everybody's got to play each other once, but there can't be two conferences.

"I don't think it's fair on some teams that would be in the conferences, because one conference will be weaker than the other. There's no doubt about that."

With AAP

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