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Resetting ladder option set to be ruled out

After floating the option of resetting the Telstra Premiership ladder, ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce has said it is set to be scrubbed from the long list of ideas being considered by the Innovations Committee.

The committee, which will next meet on Thursday, was considering the step as part of its mandate to look at ways to reschedule the season following last month's decision to suspend the competition due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pearce, who is heading up the committee, told the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday night that they would consider scrapping the competition points earned over the first two rounds of the season.

However, on Tuesday morning he said on Fox League that he would be against bringing in the controversial move.

"My personal view is when we get the competition up and running again we should carry the results from the opening two rounds," Pearce said.

"Players have worked extremely hard all off-season and clubs have lost players to injuries in those opening two games."

The theoretical resetting of the ladder would potentially have been an option as the rescheduled competition is likely to be split into two equal conferences of eight.

Under that scenario, teams would only play against the other sides in their conference as clubs would operate in a "bubble" environment to protect players and staff from contracting the virus.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson, Raiders CEO Don Furner, RLPA CEO Clint Newton, former politician Troy Grant, NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo, NRL chief corporate affairs officer Liz Deegan and NRL head of football Graham Annesley are also on the committee.

Parramatta, Newcastle, Brisbane, Canberra, Penrith and Melbourne kicked off their campaigns with back-to-back victories while the Roosters began their quest for a threepeat with successive losses, while Cronulla, Canterbury, the Warriors, Titans and St George Illawarra are also winless. 

Broncos CEO Paul White was adamant the results from the first two rounds should be part of the season whenever it restarted.

"This is not final, so we won’t jump ahead too far but what I would say is that our members and sponsors – the whole club in fact – have taken a lot of positivity out of those opening two wins of the season," he said on the club's website.

"The players and the coaching staff put together a really strong pre-season over a number of months and that was rewarded with two fantastic victories.

"We were undermanned in Townsville but played some great footy to get the result, and similarly we came back home and took on a strong Souths team and got the result there as well.

"They are the kind of wins that you can build a season around, and I know our whole club – the players, staff, members and sponsors – have been buoyed by those results across the uncertain weeks in the wake of the season being suspended."

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.