during the round nine NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Manly Sea Eagles at Allianz Stadium on April 28, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

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.


  1. Agree with the 5 min bin. Not specifically to protect playmakers but some infringements are not worth 10 in the bin e.g. punching

  2. Typical from a bloke coming back from a shoulder reconstruction and lacks confidence. Look lets face it he is old and with his influence on the game is hoping to plant seeds in the officials mind to alter the rules which in turn, will benefit the Cowgirls and himself. How on Earth is a ref going to monitor a slightly and I mean slightly miss judgement by a defender by 1 or 2 seconds to firstly give a penalty and then send a player off for 5mins as a punishment.

    • Thurston needs to either retire or play oztag/touch footy if he wants those silly little rule implemented because of his dodgy shoulder. I have called it all off season that he and Scott who is in the same boat with his knee wont last the season. This is a scared man when it comes to obvious pleading to the officials like this. Should of RETIRED.

    • Cant wait to see the likes of Kane Evans of Parra or Nuuausala ,Napa or Tetevano of the Roosters or 2 or 3 hitmen that every club has finish this bloke off for good. Don’t like when players suck up to people in high places. Smith from Melbourne is a classic at this low tactic.

  3. I can’t wait for Smith and Thurston to retire. I’m sick of hearing their opinion on everything.

  4. Sounds like the “where sick of being beaten by Queensland” boys are out in force. What a bunch of Sad Sacks.

  5. OMG, I’m sick of these people with massive amounts of experience and knowledge about the game giving there opinions to officials who can make changes to the game for the better safety of the players. I can’t wait for someone to hurt him and end his career….

    • What he plays for 17 years and survived ok up until his shoulder injury last season, makes a comeback in the trials THEN tries to persuade the NRL hierarchy to look after him for this season by changing the rules he was happy playing under for the previous 16 yrs. Sammyd you need to give yourself an uppercut mate, sorry that should read a slap, there is no feisty cuffs in footy these days.

  6. Agree 100%. Teams rely on the halves, and if they’re getting taken out by cheap shots then that needs to be stopped.

  7. Agree 100%. These generally small men are usually the most skillful and are keys to the entertainment that is Rugby League. If they get injured – everyone loses out – less people will go to the game who want to specifically see these clever players. They are sitting ducks then they ( have to ) kick and it”s a cheap shot to go late -they know it’s a way of potentially giving them an injury. I’m sure 99.9% are not wanting to give them a major injury ( though blokes like Adam Blair and Isaac Luke make you question that ) but they can make them injured enough for them not be a big factor in the rest of that particular game. 5 minutes is fair and will make them think at that split second – to pull out – so as they are not letting their team down for 5 minutes of extra pressure. It seems fair. This comes up from time to time but the powers that be don’t seem interested in 5 minutes for fowl play – Why?

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