‘Frivolous appeal’ explained with the likes of Liam Watts, James Bentley and Jack Cogger falling foul

There has been much deliberation over the new clampdown on the disciplinary system with the number of bans and cards having increased during the 2022 Super League season.

But, there has also been an attempt by those involved in the clampdown to be more transparent.

As such, it was Operational Rules Tribunal Chair HHJ Roger Thomas QC who was present on the Sin Bin podcast last night alongside Rod Studd and Match Review Panel chief Paul Cullen.

And, Thomas was keen to explain what the idea of a ‘frivolous’ challenge means with the likes of James Bentley and Jack Cogger suffering from that decision – as did Liam Watts for Castleford Tigers back in 2021.

“Frivolous isn’t a word used in everyday language,” Thomas told the Sin Bin podcast.

“If you come and appeal – the appeals I hear are reasonable in the vast majority of cases – it’s very rare these days for clubs to come in this age with no basis at all which is basically what frivolous means because they run the risk of getting an increased ban and they have to deposit a bond of £500 on the appeal.

“So players should only appeal on a sensible and reasonable basis.

“The Match Review Panel – as opposed to the tribunal – act off their own back whereas I am hearing representation from both sides of the case.

“There are often proper representations that are made to us and we often do take a lesser review than the Match Review Panel.

“If someone comes to the tribunal with no basis then the penalty can be greater with the extension of the ban and the £500 bond against the appeal will be lost.

“That should be an incentive for clubs not to come unless they have a reasonable basis from which to do so.”

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