Huddersfield Giants will have to make do without Jack Cogger for the next three games – as well as Chris Hill for two and Tui Lolohea for one.
Following last week’s loss to Warrington Wolves, those three men were all cited, charged and banned, but Giants head coach Ian Watson and the club decided to appeal the two-match ban handed to Cogger.
The reasoning was: so that he could be free for Huddersfield’s semi-final against Hull KR in a fortnight’s time.
However, that appeal was deemed to be ‘frivolous’ by the Operational Rules Tribunal and a two-match ban was upgraded to three.
“Chris Hill and Tui’s, the way they are at the moment it’s difficult to challenge them,” Watson said.
“We took a chance with Jack Cogger because he wanted to challenge it and to be hopefully available for the semi-final.
“Players work all their career to be able to play in those games, but by the letter of the law he has had to deal with the consequence of his actions on the day.
Watson doesn’t believe that Cogger’s was a ‘frivolous’ appeal at all.
“We didn’t think it was a frivolous challenge – it took them 40 minutes to decide on the outcome.
“If you’re taking 40 minutes to decide whether a case is positive or negative I can’t see why it can be frivolous to be fair.
“The case that Jack (Cogger) put forward was really good to be fair in the way that he spoke about the incident and the understanding of the situation and what the outcome should have been.
“He was totally against the fact that he led with the knees.”
Watson also believes the so-called ‘frivolous’ challenge will not deter clubs from appealing bans they believe are wrong.
“It depends, if the situation is a 50/50 I don’t think it will deter teams.
“You will always challenge it if you think it’s wrong – we were worried about this one and spoke to Jack about it.
“But, we were very precise and then for it to take 40 minutes to decide I don’t see how it can be interpreted as frivolous.”
Huddersfield will take on Wakefield Trinity tomorrow night hoping to stem a three-game losing run.