NRL head of football Graham Annesley admits there was a case for Sam Burgess to be sin-binned after the South Sydney captain conceded five penalties in 17 minutes against the Raiders during their 16-12 win in Canberra on Saturday night.
Burgess conceded ruck penalties in the 16th, 17th, 18th, 24th and 33rd minutes of the opening half to draw frustration among the Canberra players and fans in a tight contest at GIO Stadium.
However senior referee Ben Cummins ruled against giving Burgess a 10-minute spell but warned the Englishman after his fifth indiscretion.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart gave little when asked about whether Burgess should have been binned in his post-match media conference and Annesley said the decision came back to the referees' judgment.
"I think there was certainly a case for that, absolutely," Annesley said.
"There is no direction given to not send players to the sin bin for consistent breaches of the laws. I'm not standing here today saying those decisions were either right or wrong.
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"That's the role of the referees' coach [Bernard Sutton] to have a look at the circumstances of those penalties and whether they believe the referee took the right option or not.
"When it comes to the exercising of judgement the referees coaching staff and those who appoint the referees have to make those judgements on a case-by-case basis as to whether the referee allowed it to go on too long or whether he didn't.
"You can't have a blanket rule because it would depend on field position for those penalties and other circumstances.
"Of course there was a case to use the sin bin, as there are in many other games. But it's a judgement call by the referee and they'll be assessed and suffer consequences if they're assessed to have used their judgement incorrectly."
Canberra failed to receive a penalty in the final 47 minutes of the match.
Meanwhile, Annesley issued a warning to all 16 clubs during his weekly media briefing on Monday with the number of penalties blown at a season-high in round 10.
Of the 125 penalties conceded during the round, 38% came from infringements inside the 20-metre zone, highlighting teams were attempting to slow down ruck speed and concede penalty goals as opposed to tries.
Newcastle utility Kurt Mann was the only player sent to the sin bin for repeated offences despite a spike across the board.
Match Highlights: Raiders v Rabbitohs
"This is an area we would like to see the trend reversed, " Annesley said.
"That is a worry, we're aware of it and are telling clubs publicly that this is an unacceptable approach to this area of the game.
"It will continue to result in more penalties and we will see more players sent to the sin bin. That's in their hands on a game-by-game basis."
Graham Annesley weekly football briefing - Round 10