Fan survey has revealed a clear majority of punters want to give the Bunker the power to intervene.
Fan survey has revealed a clear majority of punters want to give the Bunker the power to intervene.

Fans sick of forward pass howlers

The fans have spoken and it's time to bunker down on forward pass howlers.

 

The 2020 NRL Fans' Poll, run in conjunction with nrl.com, has revealed punters are sick of forward passes escaping the Bunker's examination with more than 77 per cent of voters agreeing the video referee should be able to intervene.

Forward passes are one of the few areas of play exempt from video referee scrutiny and it's thrown a spanner in the works more than once in 2020.

 

Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Cody Walker feels as annoyed as the fans after a forward pass call.
Cody Walker feels as annoyed as the fans after a forward pass call.


The most notable case came in Round 4 when Manly were denied victory against Parramatta after the Sea Eagles were denied a fair try in the dying seconds in the match.

Of the fans surveyed, 42 per cent believe the Bunker should only rule on forward passes in try scoring situations.

The major innovations introduced under ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys' administration - the move back to one referee, the six again rule and the captain's challenge - all got a big tick from the fans.

More than 81 per cent believed the six-again rule was good for the sport and 94 per cent want to retain the captain's challenge.

On the whole, fans attitudes towards referees seem to be improving - 68 per cent rated their performance as a three out of five or higher

 

ORIGIN SCHEDULE SHAKE-UP

The traditional mid-season State of Origin series could be under threat if NRL fans get their way.

The Origin series has long wreaked havoc with the NRL competition, diluting the quality of teams as it's played between matches over a six-week period in the middle of the year.

But fans have had enough and thrown massive support behind a stand-alone series.

More than 37 per cent of respondents backed playing the series after the regular season, while 34 per cent supported playing games during a stand-alone period in the middle of the year.

Just 28 per cent of fans want to keep the traditional format of playing in between club rounds.

The COVID-19 lay-off has forced the NRL to reschedule the 2020 series, forcing it to the end of the season for the first time.

Fans have given Queensland little hope of ending NSW's two-year winning streak, with just 20 per cent voting for a Maroons series victory.

They did, however, give the Sunshine State a boost in regards to expansion, with 52 per cent voting to increase the number of teams, with Brisbane the most favoured destination (23 per cent) ahead of Perth (21 per cent) and the NSW Central Coast (13 per cent).

An end-of-season Origin has the fans excited.
An end-of-season Origin has the fans excited.

GRAND FINAL FIRST, DAYLIGHT SECOND

After 20 years of night or twilight grand finals the appetite for a return to an afternoon kick-off remains hearty with 42 per cent of votes keen for a return to the traditional start time.

Sticking with an evening grand final attracted 25 per cent of the vote while a twilight grand final pulled in just over 30 per cent.

The last daytime grand final was played in 2000 with the NRL going with a prime time kick-off ever since, with the exception of 2008-12 when it was moved to a 5pm start.

The NRL's plan to redevelop suburban grounds also got a tick of approval from the fans with over 85 per cent of voters backing Peter V'landys plan to revamp the game's traditional venues.

After Bankwest Stadium topped the vote for the best stadium to watch a match in last year's poll, pulling in 46 per cent of the vote, the message is clear - the fans want more suburban footy.

It's a breath of life for beloved venues such as Leichhardt Oval, Lottoland and the rest of the game's spiritual homes.

 

FANS IGNORE FREDDY'S NOFOALUMA SNUB

Snubbed by Freddy but loved by the fans, Wests Tigers star David Nofoaluma has received some consolation following his State of Origin slight.

A controversial omission from Brad Fittler's train-on squad on Monday, fans have voted Nofoaluma a runaway choice as the best winger of the season.

In a hot field in the 2020 NRL Fans' Poll, run in conjunction with nrl.com, 26-year-old Nofoaluma claimed 35.41 per cent of the vote.

He finished well ahead of veteran winger Brett Morris (24 per cent) and polled more than twice as many votes as incumbent Blues winger Josh Addo-Carr (15 per cent).

The Tigers flyer was controversially overlooked for Brad Fittler's State of Origin train-on squad despite putting together the best season of his career but if the fans had their way he'd be lining up for the series opener in Adelaide on November 4th.

Nofoaluma ran in 17 tries for the 11th placed Tigers and lead all wingers in hit ups, metres gained and tackle busts.

David Nofoaluma has been rewarded for his great season.
David Nofoaluma has been rewarded for his great season.

PANTHERS DOMINATE ACROSS THE PARK

Elsewhere it was a Panthers landslide with the runaway minor premiers claiming four positional awards in the team of the year.

Among an outstanding crop of young centres, Stephen Crichton landed 20.36 per cent of the vote as the game's best in 2020, beating home fellow young guns Kotoni Staggs and Zac Lomax.

It's a changing of the guard with veterans Josh Morris, Jarrod Croker and Michael Jennings all making way for the new generation.

Viliame Kikau (35 per cent) was a runaway winner for best back-rower, Api Koroisau (34 per cent) pipped Cameron Smith (29 per cent) for best hooker while Isaah Yeo (17 per cent) very nearly toppled Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo (19 per cent) as the game's premier lock.

The fans also voted Koroisau as the best buy of 2020, Ivan Cleary as the best coach and Penrith as the team most likely to win the premiership.

But the biggest winner of all was star halfback Nathan Cleary. Not only did the 22-year old win best halfback in a canter, pulling in a whopping 78 per cent of the vote, the fans also crowned him as the game's best player in another rout.

Cleary's excellent form in steering Penrith to the minor premiership had him win 47 per cent of the vote, almost more than double runners up James Tedesco (12 per cent), Cameron Smith (6 per cent) and Luke Keary (6 per cent) combined.

His father Ivan was a clear winner for coach of the year but Gold Coast mentor Justin Holbrook was a worthy runner up after the Titans' five-match winning streak to end the season.

 

TITANS' STUNNING TURNAROUND

Twelve months ago fans were split on whether the Titans should remain on the Gold Coast. But now they have rallied behind rookie coach Holbrook in a stunning turnaround.

Respondents in the 2020 NRL Fans' Poll have voted Holbrook as the second-best coach this season behind Penrith's Ivan Cleary, while North Queensland juggernaut Jason Taumalolo retained his title as the game's premier lock.

While Panthers mentor Cleary polled 29.54 per cent of the vote, Holbrook was clear second pick at 16.93 per cent, ahead of the likes of Craig Bellamy, Trent Robinson and Wayne Bennett.

After winning just three of their first 12 games, the Titans finished 2020 just two points outside of the top eight and will welcome David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui next season to a team already boasting the services of Moeaki Fotuaika, AJ Brimson, a rejuvenated Ash Taylor and big improver Jamal Fogarty.

In last year's poll, 51 per cent of fans voted in favour of relocating the Titans, calling it a franchise doomed to fail.

The Titans are on the charge.
The Titans are on the charge.

ROCKIN' THE SUBURBS

There has been an overwhelming wave of support for the NRL's suburban ground policy change, giving hope to the likes of Brookvale Oval, Leichhardt Oval and Jubilee Oval for the future.

More than 85 per cent of respondents backed the NRL's decision to develop suburban grounds instead of relocating matches to bigger stadiums.

The fans' support comes a year after the 2019 survey where newly built Bankwest Stadium was voted far and away the best NRL ground in the country.

V'landys has made improving suburban grounds a priority since taking over last year.

"Having families in Sydney attend suburban grounds is imperative to the future popularity of the game. That's what tribalism is about," V'landys said.

"Suburban grounds have an important role to play and should be upgraded for today's entertainment venue standards."

V'landys has pushed for the government to upgrade Campbelltown Stadium, Panthers Stadium and Jubilee Oval.

 

 

 

 

2020 NRL FANS' POLL FULL RESULTS

 

Which team do you support?

Roosters 9.12%

Eels 8.83%

Broncos 8.38%

Panthers 7.63%

Storm 7.14%

Rabbitohs 7.12%

Warriors 6.82%

Sea Eagles 6.41%

Wests Tigers 6.06%

Raiders 5.82%

Dragons 5.77%

Knights 5.08%

Bulldogs 4.21%

Cowboys 4.08%

Sharks 3.90%

Titans 2.85%

Don't support a team 0.77%

Nathan Cleary was the clear best player of 2020, according to fans.
Nathan Cleary was the clear best player of 2020, according to fans.

Who has been the best player in 2020?

Nathan Cleary 47.35%

James Tedesco 12.17%

Cameron Smith 6.61%

Luke Keary 6.38%

Clint Gutherson 4.48%

Harry Grant 4.12%

Jack Wighton 3.70%

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 3.69%

Kalyn Ponga 2.10%

Apisai Koroisau 1.92%

Shaun Johnson 1.56%

Cody Walker 1.36%

Payne Haas 0.99%

Daly Cherry-Evans 0.71%

Cameron Munster 0.68%

Siosiua Taukeaiaho 0.50%

Cameron Murray 0.50%

Jason Taumalolo 0.48%

Jake Trbojevic 0.42%

Damien Cook 0.28%

 

Who has been the best coach in 2020?

Ivan Cleary 29.54%

Justin Holbrook 16.93%

Craig Bellamy 16.85%

Todd Payten 13.96%

Trent Robinson 11.15%

Ricky Stuart 3.69%

Adam O'Brien 2.76%

Brad Arthur 2.47%

Wayne Bennett 1.99%

John Morris 0.66%

James Tedesco is still unquestionably the best fullback.
James Tedesco is still unquestionably the best fullback.

Who has been the best fullback in 2020?

James Tedesco 49.34%

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 13.28%

Ryan Papenhuyzen 12.93%

Clint Gutherson 8.78%

Kalyn Ponga 7.19%

Dylan Edwards 2.21%

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 1.98%

Matt Dufty 1.36%

Latrell Mitchell 1.26%

Other 0.99%

Tom Trbojevic 0.68%

 

Who has been the best winger in 2020?

David Nofoaluma 35.41%

Brett Morris 24.16%

Josh Addo-Carr 15.21%

Alex Johnston 4.56%

Maika Sivo 3.41%

Daniel Tupou 2.88%

Sione Katoa 2.37%

Josh Mansour 2.27%

Kyle Feldt 1.89%

Nick Cotric 1.67%

Brian To'o 1.50%

Jordan Rapana 1.36%

Other 1.29%

Anthony Don 1.05%

Dane Gagai 0.57%

Ronaldo Mulitalo 0.39%

 

Who has been the best centre in 2020?

Stephen Crichton 20.36%

Kotoni Staggs 19.70%

Zac Lomax 17.49%

Joey Manu 8.84%

Josh Morris 7.68%

Justin Olam 7.27%

Jarrod Croker 6.53%

Campbell Graham 3.40%

Peta Hiku 2.72%

Bradman Best 2.31%

Michael Jennings 2.07%

Other 0.95%

Jesse Ramien 0.54%

Euan Aitken 0.14%

He’s only just turned 20 but Stephen Crichton has still been voted the top centre in the game.
He’s only just turned 20 but Stephen Crichton has still been voted the top centre in the game.

Who has been the best five-eighth in 2020?

Luke Keary 40.02%

Jack Wighton 14.26%

Jarome Luai 13.29%

Cameron Munster 10.54%

Shaun Johnson 7.37%

Cody Walker 5.06%

Benji Marshall 3.53%

Dylan Brown 3.24%

Kurt Mann 1.26%

Kodi Nikorima 0.79%

Other 0.65%

 

Who has been the best halfback in 2020?

Nathan Cleary 78.28%

Adam Reynolds 4.07%

Jahrome Hughes 3.89%

Daly Cherry-Evans 2.85%

George Williams 2.63%

Jamal Fogarty 2.22%

Mitchell Moses 2.20%

Mitchell Pearce 1.09%

Chanel Harris-Tavita 0.92%

Other 0.91%

Luke Brooks 0.52%

Adam Clune 0.42%

It was far from a vintage season but Jason Taumalolo was still rated the best lock.
It was far from a vintage season but Jason Taumalolo was still rated the best lock.

Who has been the best lock in 2020?

Jason Taumalolo 19.82%

Isaah Yeo 17.15%

Cameron McInnes 11.65%

Cameron Murray 11.11%

Jake Trbojevic 10.38%

Nathan Brown 9.11%

Patrick Carrigan 7.50%

Dale Finucane 5.15%

Other 3.03%

Jazz Tevaga 2.35%

Jai Arrow 1.72%

Alex Twal 1.04%

 

Who has been the best second-rower in 2020?

Viliame Kikau 35.94%

Ryan Matterson 11.76%

Tohu Harris 11.33%

Liam Martin 6.42%

Elliott Whitehead 5.25%

Boyd Cordner 4.41%

Luciano Leilua 3.83%

John Bateman 3.83%

David Fifita 3.33%

Josh Jackson 2.86%

Kenny Bromwich 2.67%

Felise Kaufusi 2.16%

Curtis Sironen 2.12%

Other 1.92%

Wade Graham 1.28%

Lachlan Fitzgibbon 0.91%

No other prop came close to beating Josh Papalii.
No other prop came close to beating Josh Papalii.

Who has been the best prop in 2020?

Josh Papalii 42.55%

Payne Haas 13.37%

James Fisher-Harris 9.52%

Siosiua Taukeiaho 7.59%

Junior Paulo 5.94%

Addin Fonua-Blake 3.02%

David Klemmer 2.86%

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 2.24%

Reagan Campbell-Gillard 2.10%

Jesse Bromwich 1.93%

Tom Burgess 1.59%

Christian Welch 1.48%

Moeaki Fotuaika 1.42%

James Tamou 1.38%

Other 1.22%

Martin Taupau 1.07%

Tevita Tatola 0.73%

 

Who has been the best hooker in 2020?

Apisai Koroisau 34.31%

Cameron Smith 29.01%

Harry Grant 19.22%

Damien Cook 5.93%

Reed Mahoney 4.08%

Jake Friend 2.36%

Tom Starling 1.75%

Josh Hodgson 0.73%

Ben Hunt 0.69%

Blayke Brailey 0.68%

Other 0.62%

Reece Robson 0.32%

Jake Turpin 0.29%

Harry Grant, not surprisingly, was voted as best rookie.
Harry Grant, not surprisingly, was voted as best rookie.

Who has been the best rookie in 2020?

Harry Grant 52.43%

Stephen Crichton 17.63%

Jamal Fogarty 6.95%

Bradman Best 6.72%

Eliesa Katoa 3.91%

Toby Rudolf 3.71%

Other 2.46%

Xavier Coates 1.77%

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 1.68%

Jake Averillo 1.61%

Adam Clune 1.13%

 

Who has been the buy of the year?

Api Koroisau 37.54%

Harry Grant 23.33%

Josh Morris 11.11%

Reagan Campbell-Gillard 6.02%

George Williams 5.77%

Kyle Flanagan 5.27%

Latrell Mitchell 3.52%

Ryan Matterson 3.51%

Other 1.52%

Luciano Leilua 1.42%

Valentine Holmes 0.99%

No-one hits harder than Victor Radley.
No-one hits harder than Victor Radley.

Who is the NRL's hardest hitter?

Victor Radley 24.41%

Jorge Taufua 18.00%

James Fisher-Harris 12.63%

Other 9.63%

Addin Fonua-Blake 7.76%

Martin Taupau 6.18%

Tevita Pangai Jnr 5.30%

Mikaele Ravalawa 4.44%

Dylan Napa 2.97%

Payne Haas 2.78%

Jake Trbojevic 2.77%

Wade Graham 1.79%

Tariq Sims 1.35%

 

Who has been the most improved player in 2020?

Jahrome Hughes 19.84%

Nathan Cleary 15.18%

Kotoni Staggs 11.21%

Kurt Mann 8.18%

Reagan Campbell-Gillard 7.94%

Matt Dufty 7.88%

Moeaki Fotuaika 5.30%

Isaah Yeo 5.02%

Campbell Graham 4.86%

Jacob Saifiti 4.24%

Other 3.77%

Sione Katoa 3.28%

Tom Burgess 1.68%

Addin Fonua-Blake 1.63%

The Panthers are the grand final favourites.
The Panthers are the grand final favourites.

Who will win the 2020 grand final?

Panthers 32.63%

Roosters 26.93%

Storm 22.77%

Raiders 6.86%

Eels 5.16%

Rabbitohs 3.38%

Knights 1.48%

Sharks 0.79%

 

Which team do you most like to see your team beat?

Roosters 24.76%

Storm 23.10%

Broncos 16.48%

Eels 7.43%

Sea Eagles 5.86%

Panthers 5.77%

Rabbitohs 5.65%

Sharks 3.38%

Bulldogs 1.57%

Cowboys 1.38%

Dragons 1.36%

Raiders 1.24%

Tigers 0.74%

Knights 0.56%

Warriors 0.37%

Titans 0.35%

 

If you were starting a club, who is the first player you'd sign?

James Tedesco 21.33%

Nathan Cleary 18.85%

Kalyn Ponga 7.53%

Luke Keary 7.45%

Harry Grant 7.05%

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6.53%

Cameron Munster 6.45%

Jack Wighton 4.01%

Jason Taumalolo 3.72%

Other 3.51%

Jake Trbojevic 2.32%

Payne Haas 2.30%

Tom Trbojevic 2.23%

Cameron Murray 1.72%

Damien Cook 1.50%

Daly Cherry-Evans 1.39%

David Fifita 1.26%

Latrell Mitchell 0.84%

Will Luke Keary finally get his Origin opportunity this year?
Will Luke Keary finally get his Origin opportunity this year?

Which player most deserves to make his State of Origin debut in 2020?

Luke Keary 47.86%

Harry Grant 9.64%

Kotoni Staggs 9.35%

Ryan Papenhuyzen 8.53%

Clint Gutherson 4.73%

Tino Faasuamaleaui 4.26%

Jake Friend 4.00%

Other 3.98%

Junior Paulo 2.63%

Ryan Matterson 1.75%

Reed Mahoney 1.58%

Kurt Mann 1.35%

Lindsay Collins 0.34%

 

What is your favourite timeslot to watch games?

Friday 8pm 33.84%

Saturday 7.30pm 14.77%

Sunday 4pm 12.40%

Saturday 5.30pm 8.84%

Friday 6pm 8.64%

Saturday 3pm 6.75%

Sunday 2pm 6.74%

Thursday 8pm 6.53%

Sunday 6.30pm 1.05%

Monday 4pm 0.45%

 

When should the NRL grand final be played?

Afternoon 43.76%

Twilight 30.78%

Evening 25.46%

Afternoon or twilight grand finals are preferred by the fans.
Afternoon or twilight grand finals are preferred by the fans.

Should Queensland host the 2021 NRL grand final?

No 46.42%

Yes 32.09%

Don't Care 21.49%

 

On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the performance of the referees in 2020?

3 42.16%

4 23.57%

2 18.48%

1 12.58%

5 3.22%

 

Do you agree with the NRL's decision to go back to one referee?

Yes 70.84%

No 17.75%

Don't care 11.41%

One referee works well for NRL fans.
One referee works well for NRL fans.

How often should the Referees' Bunker be used?

Less 52.88%

The same 32.66%

More 14.46%

 

Should the bunker rule on forward passes?

Only for try-scoring plays 42.05%

Yes 35.21%

No 20.25%

Don't care 2.49%

 

Do you think there should be an 18th man used for players injured from foul play?

Yes 80.93%

No 14.20%

Don't Care 4.88%

 

Do you believe the NRL's new six-again rule is a positive addition to the sport?

Yes 81.60%

No 15.75%

Don't care 2.65%

One captain’s challenge per game is the preferred option.
One captain’s challenge per game is the preferred option.

How many captain's challenges should each team get?

1 48.92%

2 40.79%

0 5.80%

More than 2 4.49%

 

Should there also be a five-minute sin bin for minor indiscretions?

Yes 55.34%

No 39.96%

Don't care 4.70%

 

Do you think the current match review committee/judiciary process is fair?

No 48.67%

Yes 39.72%

Don't care 11.61%

 

Would you like to see the introduction of transfer windows?

Yes 63.01%

No 20.03%

Don't care 16.96%

 

What do you think of the length of the Telstra Premiership?

Keep as is 71.05%

Too short 22.53%

Too long 6.42%

 

How many teams should contest the NRL finals series?

Eight 84.28%

Less 11.79%

More 3.93%

 

Should the number of teams in the NRL change?

Add new teams in new locations 52.55%

Keep it the way it is 31.51%

Relocate existing teams 13.77%

Decrease the number of teams 2.16%

Will Redcliffe be the next expansion club?
Will Redcliffe be the next expansion club?

Where should the NRL's next expansion team be based?

Brisbane 22.81%

Perth 20.89%

Central Coast 12.86%

Papua New Guinea 8.81%

Ipswich/Logan 8.76%

Central Queensland 7.26%

Wellington 5.98%

Other 4.40%

Adelaide 4.23%

Fiji 4.00%

 

On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the performance of the new NRL administration compared to previous years?

4 38.21%

3 27.96%

5 26.81%

2 4.10%

1 2.92%

 

Do you agree with the NRL's position to support funding for suburban grounds over major venues?

Yes 85.96%

Don't care 9.81%

No 4.23%

 

Do negative headlines turn you off from watching NRL?

No 79.83%

Yes 20.17%

 

Who do you think will win this year's State of Origin series?

NSW 2-1 45.53%

NSW 3-0 35.19%

Queensland 2-1 17.39%

Queensland 3-0 1.89%

 

What format should the Origin series be played under?

Standalone period at end of season 37.25%

Standalone period mid-season 34.66%

Mid-season played in between club rounds 28.10%

 

Would you like to see women's State of Origin expand to a three-game series?

Yes 74.72%

No 25.28%

Ray Warren has to be content with a place behind Andrew Voss.
Ray Warren has to be content with a place behind Andrew Voss.

Who is your favourite TV play-by-play caller?

Andrew Voss 38.52%

Ray Warren 33.81%

Warren Smith 8.47%

Other 7.61%

Dan Ginnane 5.71%

Matt Russell 2.28%

Mathew Thompson 1.84%

Brenton Speed 1.77%

 

Who is your favourite TV analyst?

Peter Sterling 19.63%

Matthew Johns 19.51%

Cooper Cronk 12.65%

Andrew Johns 11.47%

Michael Ennis 10.29%

Phil Gould 7.96%

Brad Fittler 7.72%

Billy Slater 4.19%

Other 3.98%

Darren Lockyer 1.34%

Wally Lewis 1.27%

 

 

Originally published as Fans sick of forward pass howlers



What’s got the Coffs Coast talking?

Premium Content What’s got the Coffs Coast talking?

From Glenreagh’s top dog to traffic lights at Woolgoolga.

Police nab P-plate drink driver after tip off from public

Premium Content Police nab P-plate drink driver after tip off from public

High range drink-driver dobbed in by member of the public.

Vote leaves airport hotel on the cards

Premium Content Vote leaves airport hotel on the cards

Cr Paul Amos failed in his bid to rule it out.