NRL needs simulation crack down: Holbrook

·2-min read

Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook says the NRL must follow the lead of England's Super League and do all it can to deter players staying down in order to draw penalties.

With the NRL's crackdown on contact with the head moving into a second week, several players during the Titans' 30-20 win over Canterbury on Saturday appeared to emphasise even minor contact to bring about a penalty or possible sin bin.

Bulldogs forward Dylan Napa at one point gave former Queensland State of Origin teammate Jarrod Wallace a verbal barrage when Wallace stayed down after been caught high by Napa.

Replays did show Napa had made contact and he was subsequently sin-binned. But Wallace's staying down until play was halted was far from an isolated incident.

Titan Kevin Proctor and Bulldogs pair Sione Katoa and Chris Smith were also placed on report following incidents where an opposing player stayed down.

"We don't want to become an English Premier League ... had a lot of it in England actually," said Holbrook, a former coach of St Helens.

"When I first went there, there was a lot of players staying down and the referees boss got all the coaches, we had a big meeting, and he said 'listen do we want our game to play like this?'

"Everyone said no and they said, 'from now on, unless it's a sin-bin offence, we're not overruling if they don't see it live'.

"It was terrific and it just cleaned the game up and got on with it.

"Hopefully that will happen in the next week or so but it's tough at the minute with the consistency of it.

"It's putting pressure on everyone but we're all in agreeance that if we can get the dangerous ones out of the way, then that's better for us."