How John Bateman escaped without a ban – disciplinary minutes revealed

John Bateman played for Wigan last night in the Warriors’ 14-0 loss to Leeds Rhinos.

However, that appearance almost never came with Bateman initially being banned for the occasion following a Grade A charge from the Wigan-St Helens derby.

The former Canberra forward had been charged with “foul and abusive language” towards referee Chris Kendall, which was an automatic one-game ban.

However, Bateman and Wigan pleaded not guilty and then appealed – with success.

Minutes from the meeting have been disclosed and Bateman – as well as the man-in-the-middle Chris Kendall, were in agreement that a comment – along the lines of “give your head a ****ing shake” – was said.

Wigan assistant coach John Winder, however, explained how that was aimed at Saints forward Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook rather than Kendall which, after the appeal, was agreed with by the panel.

In finding Bateman not guilty, the panel “felt the on viewing the footage it can be inferred that John Bateman said something to which LMS reacted by smiling and then laughing before the referee sin-binned John Bateman. It is the panel’s view that LMS was directly behind the referee, and it is very easy to understand how the referee took the comments as being aimed at himself.

“The referee accepted that he had a side on view such that John Bateman was in his peripheral vision when hearing these words spoken.”

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