Ricky Stuart has fired off the first shot at NRL officials for the 2024 season, suggesting Canberra Raiders' second-rower Hudson Young should never have been sin binned during a Round 1 upset win over the Newcastle Knights.

Young found himself sitting on the sideline for ten minutes during the first half after making late and dangerous contact with Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga.

The Newcastle star, who took out the 2023 Dally M Medal, had made a break out of his own half and, after swerving out of the way of an attempted tackle, passed the ball. As he continued downfield, Young took a number of steps towards Ponga before making contact with him.

Ponga hit the ground hard, although was never taken from the field for a head injury assessment in something that came as a surprise.

The incident was originally missed by the officiating team, however, Young was eventually handed his marching orders for the offence.

 2024-03-07T09:00:00Z 
 
 
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Stuart though held a different view, saying there would be a lot of games played with 12 if that was the level for a sin binnable offence.

“Well what was the sin-binning for, pushing?” Stuart said during his post-game press conference

“The buzz word is discretionary isn't it? So it was a discretionary decision.

“But he shouldn't have even been... I mean yeah penalise him. But if we are going to start penalising people for that we are going to be playing a lot of games with 12.

“But if that is a sin-binning offence and that is a week off then it has got to be consistent every week and every game, but it won't be.

“And that's not having a crack at anyone. The referees have got a very difficult job. But I don't believe that is a sin-binning offence.”

Any charge from the match review committee will be handed down on Friday morning. Young has no offences on his record, however, a Grade 2 or 3 dangerous contact charge would see him cop a suspension.