NRL obstruction rule backflip

THE NRL's controversial obstruction rules have been relaxed, but vocal critic John Cartwright remains sceptical. The Gold Coast Titan's mentor yesterday joined other NRL coaches and referees in recommending this season's stricter interpretation of the obstruction rule be relaxed. In a teleconference to end the confusion among players, coaches and fans, the NRL decided that greater emphasis now should be placed on whether referees believe a defender has been impeded or not. But Cartwright - who was fined $5000 after he confronted Steve Nash in the video referee's box about a decision against the Titans two weeks ago - said he would reserve his opinion on the new interpretation until seeing it in practice. The Titans coach - who had described the obstruction interpretation as "beyond a joke" - adopted a wait and see approach following yesterday's announcement. "As long as there is consistency," he said. "They thought they did the right thing by changing it in the first place, and it turns out it wasn't. "You've really got to wait and see their interpretation of the laws and changes to the rule - you've got to reserve your judgment. It's like anything, it's only words."



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