North Queensland Cowboys captain Johnathan thinks the game needs to do more to protect its playmakers and has called for a five-minute sin bin to be introduced for late shots.
Thurston spent part of his time at the NRL season launch today pleading with the governing body to introduce measures to protect the game’s little men.
Just like the game has no outlawed spear tackles, shoulder charges and punching, Thurston believes late shots are just an aspect of the game that isn’t needed.
”A five-minute sin bin for those type of offences,” Thurston said regarding any off-the-ball contact.
”They’re cracking down on holding players down when they’re attacking and are talking about sin-binning players for repeated offences, so surely if there’s a warning at the start of the year it can be a sin-bin offence.”
To be clear, Thurston wasn’t calling for tackles on playmakers to be stopped but was vocal about the hits that come three seconds after the ball has been passed.
The danger to the player in this situation is much greater, as they have relaxed their body and an unprepared for any contact.
Coming off major surgery to his shoulder, Thurston is under no illusions that he will be targeted this season as opposition players look to try to limit his effectiveness in games.