The 2023 NRL season has been a triumph so far - why are we looking to pick it apart?

We're just over a quarter of the way through 2023's NRL season, which has been packed with upsets, comebacks, thrilling finishes and some scintillating games.

Wests Tigers aside, it genuinely does feel like anyone can beat anyone on their day - and even Tim Sheens' men made a proper fist of it against last year's grand finalists in their most-recent outing - with the ghosts of 2020 and 2021 firmly laid to rest. Last year's peeling back of the controversial six again rule helped to offer up a much more palatable product, with fewer blowouts. And now? Well, we might just be in the midst of the most exciting season in NRL history.

So why, exactly, are people trying to 'fix' it?

Two popular talking points in the past week have been the abundance of sin bins so far in 2023, and the NRL's extra time rules - more specifically, the tired argument about why golden point is 'unfair'.

For some reason, after Penrith's thrilling win over Newcastle, we were left trotting out the same tired cliches that we've now heard for 21 years (yes, 21!) of golden point.

"It's not fair that Newcastle get nothing", said some. "What's wrong with a draw?" Is an ever-popular rhetorical question after a golden point game. And then, of course, we had people floating other methods of doling out competition points where a loss in extra time would be worth more than a loss in regulation, or of course 'golden try' instead of a field goal.

These are solutions for a problem that doesn't exist. The verdict has long been settled, and golden point is here to stay.

There were already five golden point games this year before Saturday (the league is easily on pace for the most ever in a season), and there was no discourse after any of those matches about how the losing team had been robbed - nor were Manly and Newcastle fans raucously celebrating a 90 minute draw.

All of this came about purely because an exhausted Knights team allowed Penrith to get comfortably into position for Nathan Cleary to end the game.

Jarome Luai caught Lachlan Miller's kick-off five metres out from his own line, and within five tackles, Cleary was snapping the ball from just inside the Knights' 40.

The efforts from Jaeman Salmon and Dylan Edwards on plays four and five to pick up some extra metres were particularly admirable - but again, if a pack of Knights forwards don't allow the Penrith fullback to pick up about ten post-contact metres, none of this happens.

This isn't the NFL, where when two offensive juggernauts are locked in a shootout the coin toss to begin overtime can decide the match.

Even the mighty Panthers should not be expected to trundle 70 metres up the field from the opening kick-off as they did to start golden point on Saturday. The Knights, however aggrieved they may feel from earlier things in the game that went against them, have nobody to blame but themselves for what happened after 80 minutes.

The other thing besides golden point that's been far more prevalent than in the past few seasons has been the use of a sin bin - with more than 40 players sent for ten already so far, almost doubling the tally through seven rounds in 2022.

The NRL have in the past been guilty of overreaching - Magic Round 2021 and the litany of sin bins comes to mind - but that hasn't been the case here. You can't really make the case that sin bins have ruined games because the games, for the most part, have been outstanding.

The Roosters, for example, were made to pay dearly by the Storm after Victor Radley's first-half sin bin in round six, with two quick tries blowing the game wide open. But there were no arguments it was a sin bin, and most of a Roosters affiliation chose to vent their frustration at their superstar lock rather than the officials.

A refreshing change from the past, and a window into a future where fans understand that professional fouls and dangerous tackles are going to be punished properly.

The NRL has for years strived to tinker with the sport to achieve parity, or at least a competitive environment where anyone can beat anyone on their day.

Right now, we're there. Let's not hasten to change that for no reason.