Benji Marshall and Trent Robinson hit out as pressure mounts on NRL to change key rule

The decision to send both Api Koroisau and Adam Doueihi to the bin has caused uproar.

Both Benji Marshall and Trent Robinson have questioned the frequency in which players are being sent to the sin-bin in the NRL after the Tigers were momentarily reduced to 11 men against the Roosters. Robinson's men showed once again they are genuine title contenders in 2024 having obliterated the Tigers 40-6 as James Tedesco reminded fans of his quality since being dropped from the Blues squad.

While the Tigers were thoroughly outclassed in round 17 with the outside backs of the Roosters wreaking havoc, they could also count themselves hard done by after seeing two players sent off the field for 10 minutes. And both caused major controversy.

Both Benji Marshall and Trent Robinson (pictured right) have questioned some of the sin-bin calls in the NRL after another controversial decision. (Getty Images)
Both Benji Marshall and Trent Robinson (pictured right) have questioned some of the sin-bin calls in the NRL after another controversial decision. (Getty Images)

The first to go was Api Koroisau after the Tigers captain was deemed to have made a dangerous lifting tackle. Adam Doueihi then joined Koroisau on the sidelines after a hip-drop tackle. Both calls prompted backlash from fans with Koroisau's a major talking point.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was handed 10 in the bin a couple of weeks ago for a lifting tackle, which prompted swift backlash from fans who defended the Warriors centre. Blues back rower Liam Martin escaped time on the sideline in State of Origin Game 2 for a tackle that saw him lift his rival.

However, the NRL continued its hard stance on lifting challenges at club level as Koroisau found himself taking a break. And rival coach Robinson admitted he felt the Tigers were unfortunate to see Koroisau binned. He suggested the NRL might need to rethink how they approach their stance with the spectacle taking a hit when players are sent from the field.

Master coach Wayne Bennett took aim at the standard of officiating last week with one of his frustrations pointing out the frequency of sin bins in 2024. And Robinson alluded to Bennett's comments when he questioned whether Koroisau deserved 10 minutes in the bin.

“It’s a hard one, but I don’t know if it’s ten minutes or not, that’s me,” Roosters coach Robinson said of the Koroisau's sin-bin. “Someone might tell me I’m completely wrong. But I think it changes the course of the game completely and I think that’s the debate Wayne (Bennett) started a few of days ago.”

Many fans agreed with Robinson. While some were divided on whether the Tigers captain should have been sent for 10 minutes on the sideline, supporters called for consistency in the ruling after Martin escaped a sin-bin for a similar incident during Origin.

Marshall agreed with his rival coach and took umbrage with the Doueihi sin-in for a hip-drop tackle. The coach claimed there was nothing Doueihi could have done to avoid his position and said it can be a 'lottery' on whether or not the referee deems a challenge a sin-bin worthy incident.

“I’m a little bit confused about them,” Marshall said. “Doueihi’s one in particular. I don’t know what he’s supposed to do. Sol (Solomona Faataape) puts on a good shot, sends him backwards and Doueihi’s just underneath him, I thought that was pretty harsh.


“We had one put on report against us too. Obviously the second one, Api’s one...I thought it was pretty harsh as well...It’s hard to know, it’s a lottery at the moment and we seem to be on the end of them quite often.”

While the two calls impacted the spectacle, it most likely would not have changed the result with the Roosters surging to a 40-6 victory. Robinson's men are now fourth on the ladder with 22 points, but will be without Joey Manu for around four weeks after fracturing his hand.