Luke Garner was sent to the sin bin early on.
Luke Garner was sent to the sin bin early on.

Sin bin surge ‘goes higher than refs’

Canterbury coach Dean Pay has called for NRL referees to be given more of a chance to gain a feel for the match, claiming they are being over-coached.

Bulldogs lock Chris Smith became the latest player to be sin-binned on Saturday night, missing the end of the 18-16 win over the Wests Tigers for a late hit on Ryan Matterson.

It could have been an influential moment in the game, given the Tigers scored in the dying minutes with Smith off before missing a last-minute conversion to send the match to golden point.

Luke Garner was sent to the sin bin early on.
Luke Garner was sent to the sin bin early on.

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It came after Tigers second-rower Luke Garner was sin-binned for a similar offence in the first half when he hit Lachlan Lewis late.

Neither were high or overly late, with the contact coming marginally after the ball-player had passed.

Tigers coach Michael Maguire refused to buy into the debate, claiming he needed to see the vision again.

But Pay was far more direct, claiming the issue was well above the on-field officials.

"It's hard for the referees because they're obviously instructed to have a look at those incidents," Pay said.

"I didn't think there was much in it.

 

Dean Pay had some sympathy for the referees plight.
Dean Pay had some sympathy for the referees plight.

"They've just got to have a feel for the game, I think that's the biggest part of it."

Pay's comments make him the latest to question the increased use of the sin-bin for foul play.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart was heavily critical of the decision to sin-bin Newcastle star Kalyn Ponga in the Knights' loss to the Tigers last month.

Penrith and NSW five-eighth James Maloney also claimed last month referees had become "trigger happy" on penalising players for late hits on playmakers.

Former Bulldog Michael Ennis was also critical of Saturday's decision, as he labelled it "absolutely ridiculous" on Fox Sports.

 

Kalyn Ponga was sent to the bin during a game against the Tigers last month.
Kalyn Ponga was sent to the bin during a game against the Tigers last month.

"There are some smarter people than me that have said that about our footy at the moment," Pay said after the match.

"I think it's true, too. There's toughness in our game and people want to see that.

"We don't want to see the cheap shots and I'm not going down that road but the toughness in the game and getting a feel for the game.

"I feel the referees are over-coached, they're probably given too much information. They need to get a feel for the game."