Sterling calls for suspended sentences after Isaac Luke ban

Isaac Luke will miss the NRL Grand Final, after being banned for two games following a dangerous tackle in the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ clash with Sydney Roosters at the weekend.

But former Parramatta and Hull FC halfback Peter Sterling believes that players should be able to enjoy a little more leniency when it comes to bans for big games.

Luke will also now miss the New Zealand verus Australia test match on October 25, the opening game of this year’s Four Nations.

A panel consisting of former players Chris McKenna, Mick Vella and Mal Cochrane found Luke guilty after 11 minutes of deliberation.

The two-game ban has been imposed partly because of a crackdown on lifting tackles following the terrible injuries to Alex McKinnon earlier this season.

“It’s obviously not the result we were after and I know I’ve got a squad that’s looking forward to preparing well all week and getting into Sunday’s game,” said South Sydney coach Michael Maguire.

Sterling, though, thinks that there should have been regulations in place to allow Luke to play in a Grand Final.

“For a long, long time, I’ve been a big fan of the suspended sentence that they have in horse racing,” he said, on Sydney’s Triple M Rush Hour.

“When the Melbourne Cup is on and a jockey picks up a suspension, they give him a suspended one, he rides in the big race and misses meetings after that.

“To miss a grand final, I put higher than missing a Test match or an Origin game.

“Some players play 200 or 300 games and don’t get to play in one of these and it may be the only one Isaac Luke does get to play in.”

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