Gold Coast Titans halfback Ash Taylor backs NRL crackdown on foul play
Emma Greenwood -

ASH Taylor has applauded the move to give NRL referees added power to use the sin bin for foul play but said he still expected to have to take a fair hit when taking the ball to the line.

The NRL this week introduced a rule change to allow referees to use the sin bin to help protect playmakers from late shots — a power they were previously denied unless an injured player was forced from the field with no hope of returning.

Taylor, often the target of opposition defences, welcomed the changes he described as “great for the game”.

“It takes a toll on us halves when we are kicking the ball (and getting hit) or we are taking those late shots,” Taylor said.

“It does knock us around a bit and it can cause some serious injuries.

“For them to make a point of it, it’s great for us and great for the game, I think.”

But the Origin star in waiting said halves could not expect to be a protected species.

“I like being hit, especially when I’m taking the line on,” he said.

“I know I’m doing my job for the team, so it’s just those unexpected ones that need to be out of our game.

“It’s our role to take the line on but if you do pass the ball early, we don’t want to get hit from the blind side or anything like that.

“We’re a little bit smaller than the rest of the boys out there.

“I think it’s a good rule.”

NRL boss Todd Greenberg said referees would be given discretionary powers to use the sin bin for foul play that warranted more than a penalty but were not send off offences.

Ash Taylor has backed rules brought in by the NRL to protect players from foul play. Picture: Scott Fletcher
“We have made a decision mid-season, which we don’t do often, to put power in the referee’s hands to use the sin bin for what we think are really, really poor tackles,” Greenberg said.

“We want to protect the players and when we see players being hit off the ball late and then put in a difficult position we expect the referees to act.”

Taylor will lead the Titans into action this week in what the Gold Coast see as a “must win” match against the lowly Bulldogs if they are to keep their finals hopes alive.

It is his final chance to impress Queensland Origin selectors ahead of a possible call-up for Camp Maroon as a training player ahead of Game Two, something he hopes is a chance.

“There was a bit of talk about it (going into camp ahead of Game One),” Taylor said.

“I’ll just keep working hard. Obviously going into camp is a massive honour, so hopefully I get a call and can go back into camp.”

Taylor believes he has not been consistent this season though and is looking to improve his efforts in the back half of the year.

“I definitely want to be on that (Origin) radar.

“I know my performance hasn’t been there the first half of the year so I want to make up for it in the last half.

“There’s a bit too much difference in my (best and worst) games, especially after doing something bad, I just need to think positive and get back on my game but I haven’t been able to do that the last few weeks.

“So I’ve got to keep working hard on that.”