Johnathan Thurston calls for protection of players from late hits

Champion halfback Johnathan Thurston has questioned whether it will take a broken rib for the NRL to act on the continuing spate of late shots on the game's playmakers.

The North Queensland captain was again laid out in attack by an opposition forward for the second week in a row in his side's breakthrough victory over Manly.

One week after getting belted by Melbourne forward Sam Kasiano that resulted in a one-week ban, Thurston was whacked by Jack Gosiewski long after passing the ball in the first half at Brookvale Oval.

The match review committee on Friday handed Gosiewski a one-match ban for the charge.

Video 0:58 'What's it gonna take?': Johnathan Thurston speaks out after copping another late hit

'What's it gonna take?': Johnathan Thurston speaks out after copping another late hit ABC News

"It s***ts me. It's not part of our team, not how we go about our business. But it's been put on report, so I'm sure the match review committee will deal with it," Thurston said.

"What's it going to take? A broken rib and be out for three-four weeks before they really stamp down on it?"

Cowboys coach Paul Green suggested the referees should have used the sin bin.

"They've spoken about using the sin bin for foul play, so it has been spoken about," Green said.

Channel Nine commentator Andrew Johns has long been a vocal critic of the shot, and again called for longer punishments to deter defenders from laying out the game's playmakers.

He believes opposition teams commit the offence not only to discourage players from taking on the line, but also to wipe them out for the next play.

Photo Johnathan Thurston rebounded from the hit to steer to the Cowboys to a win.

Johnathan Thurston is tackled by Daly Cherry-Evans. AAP: Dan Himbrechts

Johns vehemently called out Kasiano's "coward shot" on Thurston last week, and called for the play to be rubbed out of the game.

"Players don't deserve [a] dog shot in the back when they're not looking," Johns said.

"I've been harping on it for a long time but someone's going to hurt their neck, break their back, or hurt their kidneys, and we'll react then.

"There's got to be some long suspensions, and then they'll stop."

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett conceded Gosiewski, who finished the match with a suspected broken arm, is likely to draw a charge from the match review committee on Friday.

"It was a little bit late but it's not going to matter because he'll be out for a few months anyway with whatever he's done. But it was a little bit late," Barrett said.

Thurston overcame the incident to spearhead the Cowboys to a sorely-needed win, playing a hand in three of their four tries to snap a three-game losing streak.

Video 0:41 Johnathan Thurston 'coward hit' in Cowboys Storm match

Jonathan Thurston 'coward hit' in Cowboys Storm match ABC News

AAP/ ABC

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