Five-minute sin bin, Peter Sterling urges league to avoid rule

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Rugby league great Peter Sterling has urged the NRL not to go back down the path of issuing five-minute sin bins for on-field indiscretions.

Calls for the NRL to bring back the five-minute sin bin gained momentum over the weekend after the NRL’s Magic Round saw 14 players sin binned and three sent off as a result of the league’s crackdown on high tackles.

In all, 22 players were hit with a total of 24 charges out of the weekend’s round of matches.

The option to send players to the bin for five minutes existed previously, but was abolished at a meeting of the International Board on May 1, 1991, amid criticism that it resulted in inconsistent applications from the referees.

While it’s unlikely the NRL will implement any drastic changes to its sin bin protocols immediately, Sterling said he hoped players would “get the message” and refrain from tackles that make dangerous contact to the head and neck areas.

“No, I’m not a fan [of the five-minute sin bin],” he told Wide World of Sports’ Sterlo’s Wrap.

“We’ve been to five and 10 – then we have to work out if this is worthy of five or worthy of 10.

“I think in our game, a lot of times we go back… we’ve been there, done that, we’ve had problems with that.

“I can understand the call for it because it’s that nice little period between 10 where you can lose games in that 10-minute period, and five might be sufficient.

“Too many changes for me. Let’s just keep it at 10 for the time being and see how it works out.

“Let’s see if the players get the message and we don’t have to worry about whether it’s worth this or that in the sin bin.”

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