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John Bateman slams treatment of star after ban for referee comments

John Bateman celebrates at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Hull FC star Josh Griffin was stunningly sent off against St Helens at halftime in a Challenge Cup quarter-final at the MKM Stadium.

The centre turned backrow scored Hull’s opening try in a great first half for Tony Smith’s men which saw them level at the break with the Super League and World Champions St Helens.

However, frustrated with a decision from official Chris Kendall, Griffin had an altercation with the official.

He was yellow carded and then red carded.

The Match review panel hit him with a Grade F charge for questioning the integrity of a match official.

Griffin was suspended for seven games and fined £1000 after being found guilty of a Grade F offence of ‘questioning the integrity of a match official’ by an Independent Tribunal as confirmed by the RFL and Hull FC.

Griffin pleaded guilty but challenged the grading – the grading was found to be correct.

Chris Kendall’s report of the incident revealed what Griffin allegedly said:

“Just before half time, I blew a penalty against Hull FC for a ball steal. Josh Griffin was unhappy with the decision and verbally challenged the call, I told him it was a ball steal and he muttered something as he turned and ran back towards his own team.

“I was unsure what exactly he had said so decided to leave it alone and not advance the mark. Shortly after this, the half time hooter went and I blew to call time on the first half. Josh Griffin came over and was continuing to argue and gesticulate about the ball steal decision.

“I told him it was a clear ball steal and after arguing for a short time, he said “f—— b—s—” as he walked away from myself. I raised my yellow card to Josh Griffin, he then said “your [sic] f—— s—”. He began to head towards the tunnel when he then turned back towards myself and said “f——- cheat”. I then upgraded the card from yellow to red.”

Interestingly, we saw a similar incident in the NRL with Reece Walsh. The young fullback’s fate was much talked about yesterday as it was determined whether or not he had used profanity towards the official.

He was found guilty and suspended for three games – a lot less than Griffin in Super League.

Either way, former Wigan Warriors and Bradford Bulls star John Bateman has slammed the focus on the trial yesterday.

He took to social media to say:

“You’d think Reece Walsh was looking at a 10 year sentence the way the media are going on. He’s made a mistake, been punished so leave the lad alone man.”

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