RUGBY league is constantly evolving and innovating.

Although some changes, like the abolition of scrums and six restarts, have been forced on the game due to the impact of Covid, on the whole the tweaks and adaptations are supposed to make the game a better spectacle.

Alas, the evidence of this year, across the whole league, points to the contrary.

After the resumption last July, following the first lockdown, the new rules were a revelation with Saints making hay off the back of a speeded-up game.

But defences have now come up with effective ways of nullifying teams playing quick off play one - say a kick return from Tommy Makinson or a big carry from Alex Walmsley.

They are quite content to infringe and defend an extra tackle, which in reality that is what six again is on play one, to buy time to get their defence set.

Worse than that is the inconsistency from week to week. Some blatant six agains are given, other occasions nothing, and on some you can’t work out why some are called. The late flop is now an art form that yields richer rewards than any finesse with the ball and that is wrong.

You can see the frustration at times from players. I don’t think I have ever seen James Roby speak with the ref as much.

But that is not all. Attack wise all teams have reverted to a robotic five drives to eat up yards - and it is easy to see why.

Messy rucks, slow play the balls, a very short 10 and the tolerance of offside all stifle the attack. How often does a half or hooker look up for options only to see the defence already up in the line and so another inside drive is taken?

The new ball steal rule has made it even worse – allowing players time to peel off to allow a ball steal and create just another ruse to slow play the ball down.

There will be some purists who hark back to the days of the old five-yard rule, where the half back’s craft was key and attack stood deep and ran at gaps that increased as the teams (without multiple interchanges) fatigued.

Undoubtedly this development will probably put more emphasis on the play-makers using their craft and guile to winkle out opportunities, but it is a frustrating watch.

Whether we like it or not, the sport has evolved in Super League to one that relies on winning the collision and playing the ball quick off the back of that.

That is how Saints won the league in 2019, off the back of Big Al and Luke Thompson drives, with the slicker stuff coming as a result, but if you don’t get the reward from those carries it becomes much hard to attack off the back of that.

Teams are being rewarded for spoiling tactics which make it impossible to get any flow with the attack.

If we are not careful we are going to drive the supporters away from the game before they have managed to get back on the terraces.