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There have been 44 sin bins in seven rounds of NRL so far, a radical solution has been proposed

There have been 44 sin bins in seven rounds of NRL so far, a radical solution has been proposed

It signals a decade of officials stamping out high shots and late hits - but some believe it's 'ruining the game'.

There have been 44 sin bins recorded in the 2023 NRL season so far - after just seven rounds.

It’s an astronomical rise compared to seasons past, with 28 last year, 16 in 2021, and shockingly just three back in the 2014 season.

It signals a decade of the league cracking down on high shots and late hits in order to increase player safety and cut down on injuries and concussions.

On average a player has been binned in 78 per cent of games this season - a ridiculous stat.

It’s often influenced the result of the game so far this season - take for example the Dolphins and Rabbitohs game last week.

The side from Redcliffe were just four points down until the 60th minute when Kenny Bromwich copped a sin bin for a challenge on the kicker.


It was a justified binning, but it allowed the Souths to open up the floodgates, scoring three tries over the next ten minutes and ultimately winning the game.

For some, the influx of sin-bins is dictating the game too much for their liking, and some believe new rules need to be in place.

NRL analyst Paul Crawley has come up with a radical idea that would perhaps lessen the impact of sin-bins on the result of a game.

He told NRL 360: “The problem I’ve got is the NRL know we are in the business of entertainment, they know we’ve got to have the best player on the field.

“But when you’re watching sin bin after sin bin it gets to the point where you know the result and it ruins the spectacle.

“I think they’re going to have to have a look at it. Now you don’t want to let foul play in but do some of these sin bins really deserve 10 minutes?

“Or should we look we look at maybe letting a player return after a try is scored, or do you make it a five-minute sin bin.

“I just think at the moment a lot of the penalties are too harsh for the crime.”

Or, perhaps players can be a bit smarter with their play and perform within the rules of the game so they don’t hurt their team later on?


Fellow analyst Paul Kent argued against any changes, saying: “You can’t have penalties where a guy is willing to accept the punishment because the punishment has got to be less than what it benefits his team.

“The reason the 10-minute sin bin is such a tough period for teams is because they struggle to get through it, so that’s a deterrent to do the offence that gets them into trouble. We’re trying to get rid of all this stuff out of the game.

“For 10-15 years the game has been too soft on too many incidents and we’ve allowed it to go on.”

But Crawley was adamant that the number of sin-bins was ‘running the game’.

He said: “At the moment they’ve gone overboard, some of the stuff that guys are getting sin binned for is over the top.

“The Bunker can adjudicate if it’s a serious offence but some of these other things we’re seeing sin bins for at the moments, you just think it maybe warrants a penalty.”

Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.

Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League