The NRL is on track to more than double its record for the most sin-bins in a round, after the game’s new edict saw Magic Round start amid farcical scenes.
- Six players were sent for professional fouls and ruck infringements, while two Broncos were ejected for high shots
- The sudden rise in sin-bins comes as part of a two-pronged crackdown across the game
- Rugby league legend Gorden Tallis said the crackdown is ruining the game
Eight players were binned in the opening two games on Friday night, with Wests Tigers, Newcastle, Brisbane and Manly all having two expelled.
With six games to go, that number is on track to surpass the record 14 players that were sin-binned in round 11 in 2018 as the all-time high in the NRL-era.
The sudden rise has come as part of a two-pronged crackdown across the game.
Six players were sent on their way for professional fouls and ruck infringements on Friday night, while two Broncos were ejected for high shots.
The NRL are desperate to eradicate dangerous contact, after a surge in high tackles and players being charged for contact with the head this year.
Likewise, deliberate set restarts have become an issue, with the majority given away to slow the ruck early in sets.
But regardless, Knights coach Adam O’Brien insisted the sin-bins were not the answer after his team’s 36-18 loss to the Tigers.
“We had a guy going off, thought it was really harsh, on the back of a couple in a row,” O’Brien said.
“And I reckon they had one go after about seven penalties in the second half.
In bizarre scenes, six separate Broncos incidents were put on report, with Jordan Riki and Tyson Gamble pinged twice and Matt Lodge and Tevita Pangai once.
Riki and Gamble were also binned, with the former’s coming when he led with the head into Morgan Harper as he tried to bring him to the ground.
After Brisbane lost their first two players to the bin, former Sharks premiership winner Michael Ennis vented his concerns about the sin-bin crackdown while commentating on Fox League.
“It isn’t the game that Corey (Parker) and I played,” he said.
Parker was also outraged by the double sin-binning and sudden crackdown.
“They’re the people (the fans) that are missing out, the people paying their hard-earned money to come and watch their stars play and it’s unable to happen,” Parker said.
“The standard has been set.”
In Fox League’s post-match show, rugby league legends Greg Alexander and Gorden Tallis continued the conversation.
“The edict that was sent out is an over-reaction because the bunker and the referees missed a couple of things over the last couple of weeks,” Alexander said.
“All of a sudden we need to be stronger on the high shots… well the Tyson Gamble one was not a sin-bin offence, it wasn’t.
“I don’t want to see players off the field for an over-reaction. We’re putting players off the field when the game is quicker than it’s been before, the game has never been faster and we’re removing players from the field.
To which Tallis added: “Accidents happen. Tyson Gamble’s tackle was not a (sin bin)… I’d hit a mozzie harder than that on my leg, that’s not a sin-bin offence,” he said on Fox League.
“The game is tough, and I know we’ve got to clean it up… but it’s Magic Round, we want people here, it’s the cleanest the game has ever been.
“NRL is different to junior rugby league and we’re jumping at shadows. They have a Magic Round, your showpiece and you’re doing this — I think it’s ruining it.”