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Ex-Leeds Rhinos man Richie Mathers has interesting say on Morgan Knowles ban and “inadequate system”

Richie Mathers knows what it takes to win on the biggest stage and also has suffered defeat on the grandest stage as well.

This is because he contested consecutive Grand Finals with Leeds in 2004 and 2005 winning the first 16-8 before suffering a 15-6 defeat to the same opposition a year later.

He also knows just how special of an achievement it is to play in a Grand Final and understands that it is the stage fitting for the game’s finest players, which is why he offers a unique perspective on the Morgan Knowles situation.

Morgan Knowles received a two-match ban on Monday after twisting Salford star Chris Atkin’s arm in Saints’ semi-final win against the Red Devils.

He received a yellow card for the incident and many expected him to receive a ban. Nonetheless, Saints appealed the decision on Tuesday night meaning Kristian Woolf even had to miss the Man of Steel awards.

The appeal was unsuccessful and it was believed that that was the end of it with Saints assistant boss talking earlier today on Sky Sports about how the Saints would cope without Knowles in Saturday’s title decider against Leeds as both sides look for a ninth Grand Final win.

However, in a huge twist, the RFL confirmed last night that Knowles would be free to play after they appealed the decision a second time and it was decided that the action didn’t threaten serious injury.

Thus, Knowles’ ban was scrubbed and he is set to play in the Grand Final and former Leeds fullback Mathers is really happy to see Knowles play at Old Trafford believing him to be one of the league’s best players backed up the fact he has been named in the last four Dream Teams.

However he also described the disciplinary system as “inadequate” as he took to Twitter to say: “Really glad he [Knowles] can play, regardless if the outcome is right or wrong as he’s one of the best players in the game.

“However it’s another to add to the IMG new visionary tray before they revolutionise the sport to sort this absolutely antiquated inadequate system.”

The decision has caused quite the stir across rugby league fans with the second appeal wiping away the verdict of the first as well as the original match review panel.

However, it cannot be disputed that now one of Super League’s best players is set to feature in the final when at one stage he wasn’t.

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