Taking the mic Live and direct from the Royton Riviera with Jack Dearden

Clocking in – rugby league’s new rules designed to speed up sport

SO what will the sporting year of 2019 hold? I’m starting with Rugby League for no other reason than it returns later this month with significant rules changes.

Jack Dearden

Expect golden-point extra-time, shot clocks and a reduced number of interchanges.

They are among alterations confirmed by Betfred Super League for the upcoming campaign.

So, in Super League draws are a thing of the past? Or are they? Confused? You will be.

If games are level at full-time, two additional five-minute extra periods will be added
If it remains level after the extra 10 minutes the match will end as a draw.

What’s a shot clock? They are being introduced in an attempt to speed up the game.

Teams will be penalised if they take more than 35 seconds to form a scrum and more than 30 seconds to take a drop-out.

So, the new rules apply right across the board? Not exactly – just in Super League.

They will not apply to Championship and League One clubs. That means the SAME sport will operate with different rules? Yes.

Here’s one major flaw. What happens when a Super League team is drawn to play a lower league side away from home in the Challenge Cup who don’t have shot clocks? Watch this space.

Let’s move on, I’ve got a headache.

Delighted to see Latics win at Fulham recently. Like lots of other fans it brought back magnificent memories of a magical time during the Joe Royle era.

Incidentally, regarding the FA Cup, stop meddling with the fixtures, and managers pick your strongest teams. It’s a great competition so treat it with respect.

A big well done by the way to interim Latics’ manager Pete Wild who at the time of writing still retains an unbeaten record. Wouldn’t expect anything else from a Royton towner.

I noticed former Oldham boss Neil Warnock waded into the Brexit debate recently.

We’re all entitled to an opinion. Here’s mine. I reckon Cardiff are likely to be relegated before Brexit is sorted.

I feel for Andy Murray if he is forced to retire prematurely.

The Wimbledon winner and 2012 Olympic champion was understandably emotional in a recent interview. He’s kind of grown on me over the last few years. All the best Mr Murray.

While we’re talking tennis… what a load of balls!

I noticed at the Australian Open some players weren’t happy because they’ve changed the ball supplier. Apparently, the new balls ‘fluff up’ to early. For ‘fluffs’ sake, just hit it.

And just in case you missed this in the recent FIFA World Club Championship semi-final Real Madrid beat that other world renown footballing force Kashima Antlers 3-1. (They are from Japan, Jack-editor)

I know exactly what you’re thinking I’ve never heard of them either.

Some sad news to impart I’m afraid in the past few weeks. My work colleague and friend Dianne Oxberry passed away after a short illness aged just 51.

A real down to earth, talented BBC presenter will be missed by many.

Locally, well known Royton resident Barry Walker also sadly passed away.

A great lad Barry who played for several local amateur football teams will be missed and remembered by many.

I was lucky enough to play with “big Bazz” for several seasons. An absolute cracking lad, and no mean footballer.

In his later years as sometimes happens the balls go smaller and he turned his attention to bowls and was also well known on the bowling green circuit.

Two of life’s finest no longer with us. RIP.

Keep the faith.
Yours in sport,

You can hear me on BBC Radio Manchester and find me on Twitter @TheJackDearden

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