The NRL will analyse concussion data from the 2021 season in a bid to find a way to decrease the number of head knocks to defenders.
Concerns over the long-term brain damage has prompted the NRL’s crackdown on contact with the head.
There have been 109 head assessments and 52 concussions in the first 10 rounds of the 2021 season.
NRL data shows that 69 per cent of those concussions were suffered by defending players, with no illegality involved in the play.
The league is adamant its crackdown can curb the 31 per cent suffered by ball-carriers, given they are almost the result of foul play.
But head of football Graham Annesley also claims that can play some small role in lowering the risk for tacklers.
“Of the 70 per cent who are the defenders, some of those can be avoided as well,” Annesley said.
“Coaches have a responsibility on tackling techniques to try and make sure that players don’t get themselves into bad positions.
“We will look at that at the end of the year with the RLPA (Rugby League Players Association) and our medical advisory panel.
“We will look at that and try and see if there are common themes we can feed back to clubs.”
One solution could be to reward defenders more for leg tackles, an angle heavily pushed by coaches as a solution to the current spate of high shots to give defenders a bigger margin of error.
In the modern game, low tackles often result in quicker play-the-balls and are therefore a disadvantage for the defending side.
“In many cases the injury that is caused to the defending player is because the defending player is attempting to tackle high,” Annesley admitted.
“And that is often through head clashes or contact with the upper body of the ball carrier.”
It comes as the NRL charged a record 29 players with offences from the weekend’s games, with new highs reached in each of the past three rounds.
Of the 29 charges, 14 were for high tackles and four others were for dangerous contact with the head or neck.
Crusher tackles, which risk a neck or spinal injury, accounted for another five charges.
And Annesley insisted that even though ball-carriers make up a minority of concussions, the game was right in its stance to crack down on foul play.
“Saying we shouldn’t deal with any head injuries in the game because 70 per cent of them are unavoidable … it’s an argument that I just can’t make any sense of,” Annesley said.
“It would be a fantastic outcome if we could eliminate that 30 per cent entirely.
“That’s 30 per cent of all head injuries that people wouldn’t be having if we got rid of all head injuries.”