With no finals implications, Sunday’s Parramatta v Canberra game will trial the new shot clock.
Already used in the Auckland Nines and National Youth Competition, the clock will allow 30 seconds for drop outs and 35 seconds for scrums.
The shot clock will be introduced for the 2016 season, so it’ll be interesting how players and fans react. It’s bound to reduce the negative “dawdling” tactics used by defensive teams force to defend multiple sets under pressure. While the scrums have ceased being a proper contest, anything to speed them up can only be good.
If nothing else, the novelty of the new rule may bring in curious viewers who may have ignored this Sunday’s game completely.
It’s been a rough year for the Eels and Raiders, both with nine wins and 14 losses. The Raiders have improved vastly from the past two years, playing some exciting football (the only team outside the eight with a positive points differential), but a string of close losses has hurt them. The Eels have risen from the cellar with some upset wins and the exciting Semi Radradra (the NRL’s leading tryscorer with 22), but lacked the consistency to challenge the top eight. Canberra’s Jarrod Croker is the NRL leading pointscorer (220).