Brad Fittler, Graham Annesley, sin bin

Panthers and Roosters legend Brad Fittler has issued a ruthless ultimatum to players who are testing the patience of referees, saying those who “cheat” deserve to be trashed.

Twenty players have been driven to sin bin in the first four rounds of this season, up from six in the first four rounds of 2021, seven in 2020 and two in 2019.

Wests Tigers livewire Tyrone Peachey and Dragons tough man Jaydn Su’A have spent more time in the sin bin than any other player this season, having both been sent off twice.

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“They’re defending so well these days… (if) you want to slow the game down or you want to cheat or (if) you’re constantly hitting people high, then I think 10 minutes is fine,” Fittler said. on 2 GB. Radio Wide World of Sports.

“Good teams can defend 10 minutes, and if they can’t they need to practice more, because I just don’t see that going away.”

The surge in sin-binnings began in the Magic Round last season, when a crackdown on high contacts changed the game significantly.

“Heads up tackles? One slap and you’re in the trash, seriously,” former Cowboys champion Johnathan Thurston said on Nine.

“It’s just taken away from what the game was built on – tenacity.

“…come on, it’s rugby league.”

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NRL chief of football Graham Annesley defended the high number of sins this week.

“I don’t watch a game happen, ‘it’s not a sin,'” Annesley said.

“There are instances where the decision could have gone either way, but it always will. It’s not like there’s a crackdown or an order that more players have to go in the trash we’re just continuing from where we left off last year.”

The Cowboys were severely hampered by the NRL’s sin spree in their 28-4 loss to the Roosters in the fourth round.

Tom Gilbert was sent to the trash for a push off the ball, Griffin Neame called for a late base hit and Chad Townsend got the same penalty for a high shot.

It led North Queensland coach Todd Payten to make the extraordinary accusation in his post-match press conference that the league’s strongest teams were getting preferential treatment from referees. .

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“…teams that have been leading the competition for a while, or have top players, too often benefit from the doubt,” Payten said.

“It’s frustrating.

“That’s my opinion on watching football for a long time.”

Newcastle and Manly will kick off the fifth round of a game in the Hunter on Thursday night.

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