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NRL crackdown set to break sin-bin record

The NRL is on track to more than double its record for the most sin-bins in a round, after the game’s new edict saw Magic Round start amid farcical scenes.

Eight players were binned in the opening two games on Friday night, with Wests Tigers, Newcastle, Brisbane and Manly all having two expelled.

With six games to go, that number is well on track to surpass the record 14 players that were sin-binned in round 11 in 2018 as the high in the NRL-era.

The sudden rise has come as part of a two-pronged crackdown across the game.

Six players were sent on their way for professional fouls and ruck infringements on Friday night, while two Broncos were ejected for high shots.

The NRL are desperate to eradicate dangerous contact, after a surge in high tackles and players being charged for contact with the head this year.

Likewise, deliberate set restarts have become an issue, with the majority given away to slow the ruck early in sets.

But regardless, Knights coach Adam O’Brien insisted the sin-bins were not the answer after his team’s 36-18 loss to the Tigers.

“We had a guy going off, thought it was really harsh, on the back of a couple in a row,” O’Brien said.

“And I reckon they had one go after about seven penalties in the second half.

“I don’t think that’s the answer, I don’t know (the solution). There’s blokes paid more than me that can figure that out.”

Broncos coach Kevin Walters, however, refused to blame the sin-bin for the 50-6 drubbing at the hands of Manly.

In bizarre scenes, six separate Broncos incidents were put on report with Jordan Riki and Tyson Gamble pinged twice and Matt Lodge and Tevita Pangai once.

Riki and Gamble were also binned, with the former’s coming when he led with the head into Morgan Harper as he tried to bring him to the ground.

In fairness, the match was already over at 26-6 when the pair both went in the space of 40 seconds of each other.

“We were all aware of that (crackdown). Everyone was notified,” Walters said.

“We spoke about it during the week. Everybody got a hand out.

“We’ve got bigger problems. We have to look at ourselves … The referees don’t tick the scoreboard over.”

Meanwhile, Manly coach Des Hasler said teams simply had to respond to it, with both their sin-binnings meaning little as they came in the last minute.

“I think we’ll see a bit more of it over the weekend,” he said.

“It’s probably more the timing. The directive has come from the commission and they’re trying to run the game.

“And then you’ve got the other side of the coin. We’re trying to coach the game and players are trying to play the game.”

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