Back from the dead? NRL considers five-minute bin return
The NRL could consider bringing the five-minute sin-bin back from the dead in a bid to better manage foul play from next season.
Four players were binned in last weekend's semi-finals, with Jake Trbojevic's 10 minutes off the field in Manly's loss to South Sydney the biggest talking point.
There remains a feeling among some in the game the 10-minute punishment is still too long, particularly for offences largely described as minor.
The idea has the endorsement of the NRL's head of football Graham Annesley, who said on Monday it could be put back to the competition committee this off- season.
"Is there a case to say that maybe 10 minutes for some instances is too harsh? There could be," he said.
"We will of course review that at the end of the year with the competition committee.
"There may be a case to reintroduce the five minutes for some offences.
"Because even incidents that go to the sin bin, some are more serious than others. Yet they all get 10 minutes."
The league has recently asked the competition committee - which includes Ivan Cleary, Paul Green, Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer among others - and clubs for end-of-season talking points.
The five-minute sin bin has previously been knocked back by the committee and was scrapped late last century over fears of inconsistency of what warranted five and 10 minutes off the field.
But Annesley said if brought back, clear guidelines would need to be set.
"You would have to define very closely what five minute ones are so you don't get into this situation of more criticism of referees in how they use the sin bin," he said.
Annesley did not say whether Trbojevic's professional foul - which saw Manly conceded two tries while he was off late in the eight-point loss - would fall under the five-minute category.
But he again defended the decision on Monday, noting that just because a referee's call is controversial does not necessarily make it wrong.
The football boss has taken several calls from angry Manly coach Des Hasler in recent days over the binning.
He also refuted claims the 9-3 penalty count against Manly was unfair, but said referees should have awarded the Sea Eagles one when Brad Parker was taken out of a kick chase by Sam Burgess in the first half.
But regardless, the NRL's sin-bin message has hit the four remaining clubs, as Canberra coach Ricky Stuart insisted players now knew they'd be punished for any bad behaviour this weekend.
"I'm sure over the weekend has been a learning curve for everybody," Stuart said on Monday.
"They understand it's very important in any game of football, let alone a big match, to be really disciplined.
"You don't want to put that pressure on your teammates."