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Will NRL go back to five-minute sinbins?

As the dust settles on the 2023 NRL season, there’s speculation the competition could be set to bring back the five-minute sinbins for the new campaign next year.

The 10-minute sinbin rule has been in place since 1991, but reports have suggested that time could be slashed in half for a new ruling ahead of the 2024 NRL season. 

Clubs give their feedback

The speculation has increased after clubs in the NRL were asked for their feedback on a host of issues in the sport ahead of the new campaign.

When it came to sinbins, a number of club bosses have revealed their concerns that the length of the punishment for yellow cards is having an overriding effect on results.

While still looking to punish foul play, a five-minute sinbin would certainly go some way to easing how much influence a yellow card can have on the final result of a match.

NRL tight-lipped on process at present

While the rumours continue to rubble on a potential rule change on the length of sinbins, the NRL has been tight-lipped on the subject.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has declined to comment on the issue, telling the Daily Telegraph: “We are currently going through a process of obtaining feedback from key stakeholders including clubs, partners and club members.

“We’re in the process of collating all of that information so that we can present it to the commission for their direction on next steps.”

The report from the Daily Telegraph highlighted the concern from club bosses about results being overly impacted by players being out on the sidelines with sinbins.

With both rugby league and union trying to prevent concussions and focus on player safety, with closer attention on points of contact, matches in both codes are seeing more sinbins in recent years.

A shorter sinbin to five minutes does seem to make sense, with teams still being punished for breaking rules, but their departure on the sidelines not having such an influence on the final score. 

Meanwhile, the Penrith Panthers are the 3.75 favourites to win the NRL grand final for a fourth successive season.

Runners-up from last season, Brisbane Broncos will be determined to overcome that final hurdle and are 4.50 to claim the title.

South Sydney Rabbitohs are another of the pre-season contenders to win the title at 9.50, with Sydney Roosters 10.00 and Melbourne Storm 12.00.

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