In NFL gridiron, one of the most devastating penalties is for defensive holding. The penalty often comes when a defensive team successfully prevented the offensive from covering the minimum distance of 10 yards necessary to be awarded a new set of downs.

The penalty gives a fresh set of downs to the offensive team and the referees will announce the five yard penalty against the defense, but the real damage comes when the referee say, “Automatic first down.”

It could easily be argued that the defensive side could have avoided this scenario by avoiding holding, but what passes for holding in the NFL is so subjective that if simply defies credulity.

Offensive holding is equally subjective and carries a penalty of 10 yards, but the offensive team gets another chance to replay the down.

Why are we telling you this?

Because the NRL will be using what it calls the six-again rule when the game restarts this weekend.

The rule will restart the tackle count for a ruck infringement, rather than awarding the attackers a penalty.

A ruck infringement of the fifth tackle of the set would be particularly disheartening, but even on the first or second, it would be demoralizing, as playing defense is more tiring than attacking.

Like the offensive and defensive holding calls in gridiron, ruck infringements are a little too subjective and will inevitably lead to a call for more referees and more cameras.

That is correct. A rule intended to speed up the game will actually slow the game down.

The six-again rule is nothing new. It has been used before and there are some proponents.

“I enjoyed the rule because obviously my game revolves around attack so the more time in possession and the more pressure put on opposition [defences] contributes to winning games,” Wests skipper Benji Marshall said.

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