18 hours ago
Call for conversions to be canned
Parramatta CEO Denis Fitzgerald has controversially called for the conversion goal kick ? a 96-year rugby league institution ? to be axed.
And Fitzgerald wants the value of a try increased to five points.
As chairman of the NRL clubs' council, he will push for the reform at the game's annual conference on December 8 and 9.
Fitzgerald, the game's long-serving CEO, said penalty goals and field goals should remain but the conversion should be scrapped.
He said matches should not be determined by where a try was scored.
"Scoring a try is the basis for our game," Fitzgerald said.
"Tries come through teamwork. That is what the game is all about. It should be the same amount of points no matter where you score, whether it be under the posts or in the corner.
"Why should a team be penalised for scoring out wide? That's not how games should be decided. At the moment it can be four points or it can be six points.
"Tries should be put up to five points. There should be more emphasis on scoring tries rather than which team has the best goalkicker. It is just logical."
Asked if all kicks should be taken from in front of the posts, as in the American NFL, Fitzgerald said: "I think having no conversion is better than the NFL system where a conversion (known as a point-after-touchdown) is taken from in front and 99 per cent go over."
Fitzgerald has privately mooted the idea previously but will now go public and push his proposal at the NRL conference.
But NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said Fitzgerald's plan might be met with caution from clubs.
Roosters coach Ricky Stuart said Parramatta must be devoid of a goalkicker.
"Mark Riddell (the Eels' new goalkicking hooker) must be missing a lot of goals at practice," Stuart said.