National News

No need for sin bin warning: NRL

Is this the end of the NRL's sin bin warning?

The writing appears to be on the wall after the game's hierarchy on Monday told referees they don't have to give teams advance notice before marching a player for 10 minutes.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley said he sent a reminder to referees boss Bernard Sutton and his officials that there was nothing in the rules that stated sides were entitled to a heads-up before having a player sent from the field.

For some years there has been an upturn in sides giving away intentional and cynical penalties inside their 20 metre zone in an attempt to entice opposition sides into taking two points, instead of pushing for a try.

During that time, sides giving away a string of penalties in a short period of time have been given prior warning that the next offence will result in them going a man down.

However Annesley said there was no such need and it only encouraged sides to give away penalties.

"Last year we saw a pattern where there would be a succession of penalties and the captain would be called over 'that's it, next player's going to the sin-bin' and then we would see players sent to the sin bin," Annesley said.

"To me what that does it allows players license to breach the rules up until the time they get a warning.

"There's nothing in the rules of the game which says the referee has to issue a warning before sending players to the sin bin."

Annesley was at great lengths to point out he had not issued an edict or encouraged his referees to blow more penalties or make greater use of the sin-bin.

He said he just wanted to promote a free-flowing brand of football and for referees to call it as they see fit.

Annesley's reminder was brought on by a jump in penalties and penalty goals over the last five weeks.

In round 10 there were 125 penalties blown and 22 penalty goals kicked - the most of any round this year.

BLOW THAT WHISTLE REF

Penalties and penalty goals over the first 10 NRL rounds

* Round 1 - 95 penalties, 7 penalty goals.

* Round 2 - 103 pens, 6 penalty goals.

* Round 3 - 101 pens, 11 penalty goals.

* Round 4 - 88 pens, 12 penalty goals.

* Round 5 - 86 pens, 11 penalty goals.

* Round 6 - 113 pens, 11 penalty goals.

* Round 7 - 106 penalties, 15 penalty goals.

* Round 8 - 108 penalties, 20 penalty goals.

* Round 9 - 110 penalties, 9 penalty goals.

* Round 10 - 125 penalties, 22 penalty goals.

© AAP 2019