As someone who has frowned, moaned and written critically at most of the add-ons, gimmicks and adornments that have changed the complexion and character of rugby league since 1996, I am glad that this week I can actually write something positive.

At the risk getting my membership of the Luddite Tendency rescinded I’ll offer praise for a rule tweak that has actually had a positive impact on play this season.

The free play essentially allows teams picking the ball up from an opposition knock-on the opportunity to throw caution to the wind and attack with impunity.

It is a risk free play with players having the licence to throw the ball about in Wide to West fashion – not that such a glorious passage of play could ever be replicated - and if at the end of it they are no further forward, play goes back to the initial knock-on.

Now that the players have got used to it – and the referees have stopped blowing early - we are now seeing some innovative, exciting open play to punctuate the often otherwise predictable and robotic pattern of routine set completion.

And increasingly we will see the players exploiting such breakdowns in a clinical but adventurous way, rather than simply wellying it upfield and hoping for the best.

Having had a full season of it now, it is worth reviewing at the end of the year and seeing if it can be extended to teams receiving penalties.

How often do we see teams deliberately infringe when defending their own line when the attacking team’s tails are up and a score is imminent.

Frequently a penalty in those circumstances is either negative or neutral, knocking the recipients out of their stride and allowing the culprits to get some air in their lungs and reset their defensive line.

Given that a kick to touch is a non starter, why not offer the first tackle of any attacking penalty inside the 20 metre zone as a free play?

And if that comes to nought, play resumes with a second tackle tap at the spot of the original indiscretion.

Oh, and while the rule manual is out can we scrap this reward for deep, nothing kicks that go dead in goal How many times on Friday did Lee Briers pump the ball downfield from the half way line and beyond?

A 20 metre restart tap in those circumstances is a significant yardage gain, essentially rewarding bad play.

The rule should be changed to a restart tap from the point from where the ball is kicked as this would reward kickers who can either find touch or get a ball to stop in goal or close to the try line. Booting it dead – and then making teams bring the ball from their own line into the teeth of an aggressive defence is a game killer.

That said, maybe I am just scarred by too many consecutive Grand Final defeats?