If there has been one contentious point that has occurred already this week, it is that of the upgraded ban handed to Leeds Rhinos’ Rhyse Martin.
Last night, the Operations Rules Tribunal ruled that Martin and Leeds’ appeal was ‘frivolous’, deeming it suitable to upgrade the PNG international’s one-match ban to two, meaning he would not only miss Friday’s clash against the Catalans Dragons but also a potential play-off semi-final if the West Yorkshire club secured victory in the south of France.
The Tribunal ruled: “Leeds Rhinos’ Rhyse Martin has lost his appeal against a one match penalty notice issued yesterday by the Match Review Panel – and has had his suspension increased to two games.
“Martin admitted making a careless high tackle during the Rhinos Betfred Super League match against Castleford Tigers last weekend, but challenged the grading. An independent tribunal upheld the review panel’s Grade A verdict, found the challenge found to be frivolous and issued an additional £500 fine.”
A number of people were unhappy to say the least, including former Super League referee Richard Silverwood who took to social media giant Twitter to share his displeasure at the news.
Silverwood tweeted: “I honestly don’t know how the panel get away with adding games on to appeals. Surely it’s the sentence or you win your appeal. Absolutely crazy getting games added just for appealing. Your entitled to appeal a sentence.”
I honestly don't know how the panel get away with adding games on to appeals. Surely it's the sentence or you win your appeal. Absolutely crazy getting games added just for appealing. Your entitled to appeal a sentence.
— Richard Silverwood (@SilversRef) September 6, 2022
It’s obviously a sticking point in 2022 with the ‘frivolous appeal’ rearing its head on several occasions during this season and especially at the beginning part of the year when there was a massive crackdown on foul play.
Unfortunately, it seems as though the vast majority of people are unable to fathom this ruling of increasing the ban with the victim of the high tackle – Alex Mellor – also falling down on the side of the PNG forward despite suffering a broken nose in the process.