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Scrums more than 12 seconds faster under new NRL shot-clock rule

Wrapped up: Tyrone Peachey is tackled during the match between the Indigenous All-Stars and the World All-Stars at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Matt RobertsThe average time it took to pack a scrum in last Saturday night’s NRL All Stars match was more than 12 seconds faster under the new shot-clock rule than the 2015 clash.

The time to form scrums in last Saturday’s Charity Shield fixture between South Sydney and St George Illawarra was also down from an average 37.6 seconds last year to 28.5 seconds.

The NRL has this year introduced a shot clock for scrums and line drop-outs but the first matches in which it was used attracted criticism from players and fans, with World All Stars captain Cameron Smith saying he had encouraged teammates to waste time.

However, statistics provided by the NRL suggest perception is not reality as the average time for a scrum in the World All Stars’ 12-8 win over the Indigenous All Stars was 30.4 seconds, whereas it took 42.6 seconds to form a scrum in last year’s match.

These statistics were for scrums without any stoppage due an injury or a video referee decision.

Under the new NRL rules, players will be penalised if they haven’t packed into the scrum within 35 seconds, while teams have 30 seconds to take a goal-line drop-out.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast prop Luke Douglas is set to miss the opening premiership round after being charged by the match review committee over a high tackle on Daniel Alvaro in last Saturday night’s trial loss to the Warriors.

Douglas, who would be the first player charged this season, was charged with a grade-one careless high tackle and would have escaped suspension but he has 75 carryover points and 20 per cent loading from a previous offence.

Manly prop Brenton Lawrence was also charged with grade-one dangerous contact over a crusher tackle on Cronulla’s Matt Prior in Sunday night’s 24-24 draw at Shark Park but will escape suspension with an early guilty plea.

Manly’s World All Stars forward Martin Taupau escaped any charge for a lifting tackle on Saturday night, while no action was taken against fellow New Zealand international Jordan Kahu for a high shot on Indigenous All Stars back Jack Wighton as he attempted to score. 

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