After just one NRL round, there’s more issues to tackle than you can poke a corner stick at

There is never a dull moment in the world of rugby league and the opening round of the season last weekend had fans captivated.

It was a case of what we didn’t have to discuss, analyse and think about.

There was plenty of debate over the new rules.

The cannonball tackle is where a third defender comes in to tackle the ball carrier around the knees.

The dangerous tackle should have been outlawed several seasons ago.

There was a serious risk of players being sidelined for a long time with knee injuries.

With the cannonball tackle gone there are now faster play the balls and only two men in the tackle, instead of three.

In some cases last weekend there were one man tackles.

Two players, Sonny Bill Williams and Andrew Fifita were suspended for shoulder charges.

The rule is clear, no shoulder charges otherwise players are suspended.

I cringe when I see players with concussion from these tackles.

I can also imagine the conversations from mothers speaking with their sons saying footy has too many injury risks and go and choose another sport.

Player welfare comes first and playing on after a heavy knock is no longer seen as a badge of honour.

There is no excuse for a player using the shoulder charge anymore.

We also had the debate about disappointing crowds in the opening round.

I think there are many reasons for crowd figures declining over the past year.

They are hefty admission prices, travel time, car parking issues, mass television and Pay-TV coverage, weekend work schedules of mum and dads, kids playing junior sport and also one of the biggest killers for certain clubs is having multiple home ground venues.

People are creatures of habit and if they are used to watching the Panthers at Penrith, the Eels at Parramatta and the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown and are suddenly confronted with several home ground venues, it upsets their routine and they tend to stay at home and watch games on television.

Wests Tigers play home matches at three venues, ANZ Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium and Leichhardt Oval.

The Tigers fans in Campbelltown, who only get four home matches there a season, aren’t too keen to get a train to Sydney Olympic Park or drive the car to go to watch the Tigers at ANZ Stadium.

Not when they can sit at home in the comfort of their lounge room, turn on the television, have a few cold beers and enjoy a family barbecue.

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