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Johnathan Thurston has called on the NRL to do more to protect the smaller playmakers from late hits after they've passed the ball.
Speaking on Nine's The Sunday Footy Show, Thurston said that players should be sin-binned to deter cheap shots.
"Especially the touch judges - they're the ones who should be seeing how late it is and getting the call of penalty straight away," Thurston said.
"I think what we can do is just a sin-bin offence. If it's that late, like Sia's shot, high and late, sin-bin them.
"That's the only way we're going to stop it from happening.
"When you've played early and there are two or three seconds late, your body relaxes, and that's when you get jammed and that's when you get the neck and shoulder injuries."
The Eighth Immortal Andrew Johns agreed, saying that this has affected the number of young players coming through the ranks.
"I can imagine what the younger players see in the top grades they do in the juniors as well," he said.
"It discourages young guys, the smaller guys to get out and be creative because they are being whacked in the rib and the kidneys."