- Apr 26, 2008
Sorry that doesn't address the issue at all. Even if it's a forward, that's fine, the rule was never put in place to get a free interchange to benefit a team, it was to prevent a team being disadvanted by a forced interchange through injury by foul play. There's already incentive not to maim someone, the team gets penalized and a sin bin/sent off.They aren't always going to receive a sin bin, in fact, a lot of fans feel like they were lucky to receive it in that instance.
The fact of the matter is, you're better off hitting a back high than a forward because at least you're not giving away a free interchange. It's a completely ridiculous scenario where somehow one position is inferior to another because of the state of the game but that's how it is. So Melbourne figured out a way to fix that and make it work for them in a way that is completely within the rules. Even so, they only received the one interchange, whereas Eisenhuth got to have a spell from a shot that wouldn't have hurt a fly and got to replace a different player effectively giving Penrith two fresh troops as opposed to the Storm's one.
It may not have been the intention of the rule but neither was the stripping rule and fans by and large seem to be fine with it. Coaches are constantly finding ways to exploit the rules, we're seeing that now with the way teams control the six again count.
Like I said, the solution is very very simple. Player goes off, free interchange, he can come back on and it's a free interchange only if he replaces the player who replaced him and it must be done within 15 minutes. There's still room to be exploited but far less room.
There should never be a case where teams get a free interchange on a totally different player because they game the rules.