The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup will kick-off today with a host of NRL players and budding young stars having their first official hit-out for the season with new rules being introduced including two-point field goals to make the game even more exciting.
Newcastle Knights will have the honour of hosting the first match of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup tonight when they host a Mounties team which includes Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs NRL players Lachlan Lewis and Brandon Wakeham at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Penrith will meet South Sydney at Panthers Stadium tomorrow, followed on Sunday by Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles against North Sydney at HE Laybutt Stadium, Canberra against Western Suburbs at GIO Stadium and St George Illawarra against Newtown at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Other players with NRL experience in action this round include Cade Cust for the Sea Eagles, Sam Williams and Tom Starling for the Raiders, while the Bears have Matt Ikuvalu and Drew Hutchison as well as emerging stars Joseph Suaalii and Sam Walker.
“This weekend is shaping up to be huge with most of the NSWRL’s Major Competitions kicking off for the season,” NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said.
“We have a new partner coming on board for the state’s premier competition, The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, which has produced plenty of great players who have gone on to forge successful Rugby League careers.
“I’m also looking forward to the new rules being introduced into our competitions this season and the impact they will have to make the game even more exciting for Rugby League fans.”
The NSWRL has adopted several rule changes which will be introduced into the NRL competition this season, with all of them being carried across The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, Jersey Flegg Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield.
The rule changes include:
- Six-again for 10-metre infringements and ruck infringements;
- Play-the-ball restart after the ball finds touch;
- Handover if a player fails to make a genuine attempt to play the ball with their foot;
- Referee to call “break” when the ball is out of a scrum; any breach will result in a penalty;
- Field goals outside 40m will be worth two points;
- Injured players to be interchanged or taken from the field if trainers call on match officials to stop the game for an injury. They can only return to the field after treatment when their team has their next possession or after points have been scored.
The six-again rule for 10m infringements and ruck infringements will not be used in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership, Denton Engineering Cup and Illawarra Cup.
They also have not been used in Junior Representative competitions including the UNE SG Ball Cup, Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup, SLE Laurie Daley Cup, UNE Harold Matthews Cup and SLE Andrew Johns Cup but all other new rules have been adopted.