Moses not sold on NRL captain’s challenge. Teams could exploit it

Parramatta halfback Mitch Moses predicts smart captains and coaches will exploit the NRL’s new challenge rule in 2020, claiming it will also encourage players to “bite back” at referees.

A controversial new “captain’s challenge” was agreed upon by the ARLC last week.

However, Moses said he feels for referees who are already dealing with immense pressure only to have a team question their decisions.

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Moses relishing Johns lessons

NRL: Parramatta playmaker Mitchell Moses is excited to be learning off of his childhood hero Andrew Johns. Johns has taken up an assistant coaching role with the Parramatta Eels.

“I think we put so much pressure on the referees already and then to go over their ruling, it’s a bit hard,” he said.

“If it’s their call, it’s their call.

“It’s almost giving the player a bit of a chance to go back at the ref after we get taught so much not to bite at the ref.”

It’s believed each team would be given one challenge per game, although they would not lose it if it is upheld, meaning they could have unlimited successful chances.


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Although the details will not be made clear until February, Moses said he can see the challenge system used tactically by captains and coaches.

“I guess that could come into it 100 per cent. You’ve got smart captains and coaches. You never know,” he said.

“We’re going to have to see what happens and how it’s trialled.”

Mitchell Moses isn’t convinced with the new captain’s challenge rule.Source:AAP

The challenge system was used in the under-20s since 2012 and was trialled once in the NRL during a 2016 match between St George Illawarra and Newcastle, although neither team used it.

Despite his aversion to the challenge system, Moses believes several of the new rule changes could benefit the Eels next season.

The 25-year-old said there would be minimal chances to execute a 20/40 kick, but said selecting the lateral placement of scrums and stricter rules on tackling players in the air could be an advantage.

Especially with high-flying wingers Blake Ferguson and Maika Sivo on the edges.

“The scrum rule is a big one, it’s a big one for us as well. We’ve got some big outside backs as well who are very skilful and fast,” Moses said.

Meanwhile, the Eels have added depth in the halves by signing former Newcastle halfback Brock Lamb to a development contract for 2020, moving into the NRL squad in 2021.

Originally published asMoses not sold on NRL captain’s challenge. Teams could exploit it

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