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Paul Kent has launched a passionate defence of the NRL’s bid to reduce the interchange and believes the coaches have conned the game for too long to suit their needs.
The NRL’s crackdown on the wrestle is set to reduce the interchange as of next season and Kent believes it is vital to improve the spectacle of the sport.
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Interchange must be reduced
NRL: Paul Kent explains why the NRL must put a stop to how many interchanges coaches get per game.
“It won’t be this year, but it will be definitely next year,” Kent said on Fox League Live.
“This is my hobby horse the interchange. I’ve been banging on for years and me and Matty Johns will talk for an hour about how it should come down. It has to come down.
“For too long the coaches have been dictating to the game. The game has crapped on with this we are listening to coaches because nobody knows more about the game than the coaches.
“It is true that nobody is more educated than the coaches, but the coaches have an agenda and part of their agenda is they do not like tired players.
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“Do you know why they don’t like tired players? It is because tried players make mistakes. “The one thing they cannot coach against is a tired player making mistakes. Once a player gets tired they will make mistakes that the coach doesn’t want to see.”
Kent said you only have to look at the games in the late 80s and 90s to see how much the spectacle improves with more tired players as the game progresses.
“The truth is tired players is what is good for the game,” Kent explained.
“The days of Allan Langer looking up and spotting a tired defender and saying I am going to work this bloke over and I’m going to get him, I wouldn’t say they have disappeared, but they are too few and far between.
Roosters players on the bench.Source:News Corp Australia
“Cooper (Cronk) you played your entire career as a halfback and you never had a tried back-rower whose legs were just gone to run at and focus on.
“And yet every time you got the ball you had fresh or reasonably fresh forwards in front of you that were coming at you.
“The halves don’t get replaced. The hookers don’t get replaced. It is only the middle forwards and the edge back-rowers that get replaced.”
Kent believes the ability of coaches to constantly bring on fresh legs is hurting the fabric of what made rugby league so special.
Allan Langer used to terrorise tired forwards.Source:News Corp Australia
“There used to be a natural order in the game where the big guys get the advantage early because they are big and strong and fresh and as the game wore on the little guys with the bigger motors or a guy like Shaun Fensom for example they start coming back into the game,” Kent explained.
“They endure early on and then towards the end of the game they get their own back because they start to take advantage of the tired players.
“Coaches don’t like tired players because it keeps them in a job. The NRL is not set up to keep coaches in a job. The NRL is there as an entertainment vehicle.
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“When we talk about the great moments in Origin and they always come in the last five or 10 minutes when the players are out on their feet and playing through the exhaustion.”
Kent revealed that the NRL were considering Johns and his argument as far back as David Smith’s era when Todd Greenberg was the NRL’s Head of Football.
“The game needs a radical change there is no doubt about that and we’ve needed it for years,” Kent said.
“For the past six years the NRL has denied this. Matty Johns spoke to Bob Fulton and David Smith six years ago.
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“The NRL knew about it back then and it was put in Todd’s hands as Head of Football for the NRL. That’s when the discussion came in about bringing it from 10 down to eight. It should have gone to six straight away.
“The coaches complained you would need two or three seasons to roll over your roster to get the right players in place which is absolute rubbish.
“You’ve only got to see what Craig Bellamy did with Sam Kasiano who was a monster and in one summer stripped 25kg off him.
“It can be done it is just the coaches for too long have conned the game and the game has not had the rugby league intellect to understand how they are being played.”
Originally published as‘Load of rubbish’: Kent says coaches have conned NRL for too long over interchange
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