DRAGONS enforcer Tariq Sims says there's no point debating controversial rule changes ahead of the looming NRL resumption, saying teams that get on board the quickest will enjoy the most success in a shortened campaign.
Round three will see matches overseen by a single referee for the first time since 2008, while a 'six-again' call will replace penalties for ruck infringements, under new rules implemented by ARLC chairman Peter V'landys.
It's drawn criticism from coaches players and commentators, while top referees threatened strike action over the move that will cut costs but drastically change the way games are officiated.
Playing with just one referee calling the shots will be a first for Sims, who debuted in the NRL in 2011, but the 30-year-old hardman says sides must simply adapt.
"One thing I've figured out in my years playing in the NRL is that the players and the team that adapt to the rule changes the fastest usually come out on top," Sims said.
"Whatever is handed down, once they've made the decision there's no point crying over spilled milk. I think it'll definitely free the ruck up and it's going to be tricky to navigate.
"It's going to pretty exciting for the fans watching it on TV but I think there'll be some confusion early, you might see a few cheap tries through the middle because teams aren't used to the rules yet.
"In terms of handling the six-again rule I think we're quite lucky because we do have a really mobile forward pack, we've got Cam McInnes and Isaac Luke in the hooking role.
"We've worked through some scenarios and we're just going to have to adjust our attacking and defensive structures to suit these changes."
Dragons halfback Ben Hunt agreed the measures could suit his side, but was lukewarm on making changes mid-stream, particularly in a season that's already endured such a degree of disruption.
"I know we want to improve our game and make it the best we can and the most entertaining for fans but I feel like every year there's a new rule change or two coming in," Hunt said.
"If you're going to change rules I feel it needs to be early in the off-season so you can prepare. Obviously it's special circumstances at the moment but, technically, we're in the middle of a season.
"I'm not too sure what to make of it yet. It's a a bit different but I'm sure most clubs will adapt to it pretty well, depending on how your team's built.
"It will benefit some sides and and it'll hurt some sides. I think we've got a good forward pack that'll suit the six-again [rule] if we're on a bit of a roll."
The Dragons need to make a quick adjustment having gone 0-2 to start the season before it went on hiatus, with Hunt the first to admit his side will be under pressure when it resumes against the Warriors on Saturday week and Bulldogs in round four.
"There's definitely a lot of pressure on any team that's started 0-2 and we've got to come out and perform straight away. That's it," Hunt said.
"If we come out and lost the first two then we're 0-4 and definitely a long shot at making the finals then in a shortened competition. The pressure's definitely one but we're up for the challenge and just ready to get into it."