NRL legend’s ruthless ultimatum to ‘cheaters’
Twenty players were marched to the sin bin over the opening four rounds of this season, which was an increase from six over the first four rounds of 2021, seven in 2020 and two in 2019.
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“They defend so well these days… (if) you want to slow the game down or you want to cheat or (if) you’re consistently hitting people high, then I think 10 minutes is fine,” Fittler said on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“Good teams can defend 10 minutes, and if they can’t they need to practise more, because I just don’t see it going away.”
The sharp rise in sin-binnings began in Magic Round last season, when a crackdown on high contact was changed the game in a significant way.
“Head-high tackles? A slap in the face and you’re gone to the sin bin, seriously,” said former Cowboys champion Johnathan Thurston on Nine.
“It’s just taken away from what the game has been built on – toughness.
“… come on, this is rugby league.”
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“I’m not watching a game going, ‘that’s not a sin-bin’,” Annesley said.
“There are some where the decision could have gone either way, but that will always be the case. It’s not like there’s a crackdown or an order that more players need to go to the sin bin; we’re just continuing on from where we left off last year.”
The Cowboys were severely hindered by the NRL’s sin-binning spree in their 28-4 defeat to the Roosters in round four.
Tom Gilbert was sent to the sin bin for an off-the-ball push, Griffin Neame followed for a late hit and Chad Townsend copped the same punishment for a high shot.
It led North Queensland coach Todd Payten to making the extraordinary accusation during his post-match press conference that the strongest teams in the league were receiving preferential treatment from referees.
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“… teams that have been up the pointy end of the competition for a while, or have high-profile players, get the benefit of the doubt too often,” Payten said.
“That’s my opinion over watching footy over a long time.”
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