• Justin Hodges says Michael Ennis was lucky not to be charged by the NRL Match Review. (NITV, Getty Images)Source: NITV, Getty Images
NITV's League Nation Live member Justin Hodges has called for drastic changes in the way the NRL deals with the obstruction rule.
Adam Santarossa

25 May 2016 - 4:57 PM  UPDATED 27 May 2016 - 3:24 PM

Queensland Origin legend Justin Hodges has called for an increase in the involvement of former players in the NRL’s referee ranks, as the obstruction rule continues to be a blight on the game.

Speaking on NITV’s League Nation Live Hodges said current NRL players are intentionally feigning contact.    

“It’s something that frustrates me as a former player.

“Players know when they can’t make that tackle. All they have to do is fall down now and it will go up to the video referee and the video referee just ruins it.

“They should have ex-players that know when players are doing that. Our players you are so good, but it gets taken away with no tries, because of the obstruction rule. It’s just terrible how it’s run,” Hodges said.

Hodges pointed to the recent example of the no try ruling in the Brisbane Broncos-North Queensland Cowboys match, where Michael Morgan was denied a fair try.  

“There was no way Alex Glenn would have got to him. Everyone knows how quick Michael Morgan is and he just misread the play. That’s something they’ve got to fix, because we see these good plays go to waste, because players know all they have to do is run into the guy coming through and it’s an obstruction," said Hodges.

Fellow NRL veteran and League Nation Live panellist Scott Sattler agreed with Hodges, but said the issue is more focussed on the way the NRL rules are written, rather than the decision making ability of Rugby League officials.   

“I think it’s a great excuse for bad defence a lot of the time.

“Sometimes I try not to be too hard on the referees because it’s not the referees themselves. The referees are making a decision based on the actual rule that’s been made.

“We’re getting to the period now where we need to sit back and tear out a lot of pages and start again with a lot of our rules”, said Sattler. 

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