Marcus Garley of Huddersfield Giants has been suspended for 12 matches following an Operational Rules Tribunal on August 24 after being found guilty of Grade F Dangerous Contact in an Academy fixture against Wigan Warriors earlier this month.
The incident left the Wigan player Jack Bibby with serious leg injuries which have ruled him out for up to six months.
The match was abandoned after 68 minutes.
Dangerous Contact charges are usually Grade D offences – but the Match Review Panel recommended that this be considered Grade F for the following reasons:
- Extreme reckless contact and technique highly likely to lead to serious injury;
- Pressure is applied whilst opponent in very vulnerable position;
- Player totally out of control;
- No duty of care shown towards opponent whatsoever;
- Severe injury suffered by opponent – likely to be out of the game 6 months
Sean Smith, who chaired the ORT, explained the decision as follows:
“The panel were concerned that having viewed the video evidence, the tackle was complete and that the attacking player was almost stationary in a vulnerable position. Mr Garley threw his legs off the ground around the attacking player such that all his body weight was applied to his opponent, he was thereby out of control.
“The Panel had serious concerns with the technique used by the player who they concluded was highly reckless in his actions albeit did not intend to cause injury.
“The panel were mindful that the player had attended the panel in person to make his apologies and show his genuine remorse. The panel heard from the club that he would be working in training to improve his technique.
“However, in this instance the attacking player had dislocated his kneecap and would be likely out of the game for up to six months before returning to play. The panel were informed that the injured player would require significant reconstruction surgery.
“Taking all of the above factors into consideration the panel felt that the appropriate punishment was a 12 match ban and a £50 fine was also imposed.”