Catalans Dragons star Sam Tomkins pokes hornets’ nest ahead of Leeds Rhinos clash with view on Rhyse Martin ban

Leeds Rhinos will be without Rhyse Martin for Friday’s Super League clash away at the Catalans Dragons.

That’s because he has been banned for two games – originally one – after a failed appeal to an Operations Rules Tribunal last night.

That decision has caused quite a raucous cacophony from the rugby league fraternity with many falling down on the side of Martin and Leeds.

Unfortunately for the West Yorkshire club, the judge at the tribunal didn’t fall on their side and Martin’s ban was upgraded from one to two after his appeal was deemed ‘frivolous’.

For Catalans star Sam Tomkins – who will go up against Martin’s side on Friday night for a spot in the Super League semi-final play-off – it is the right decision by both the Match Review Panel and the Operations Rules Tribunal.

“If you look at it he’s made contact with the head so it’s a penalty. That’s the rules,” Tomkins said on Sky Sports.

“It was always going to be tough to appeal the ban on a not guilty (charge) because if you slow it down he (Martin) made contact with the (Mellor’s) head so he was always going to struggle to win the appeal.”

Tomkins also has no qualms in such incidents getting cited after the game in order to stop the recent throng of play-acting which has crept into the sport.

“We want players to be getting up and playing the ball so if players are getting cited after the game then so be it, it means the game is more free-flowing and means that we are getting further away from rolling around like footballers.”

It remains to be seen whether the Dragons or the Rhinos will have the upper hand on Friday night, but it will be interesting to see who Leeds head coach Rohan Smith goes with in the back-row in the absence of Martin.