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Latest punishment shows RFL’s changed disciplinary approach ahead of new Super League season

After last weekend’s friendlies, which saw one Super League side involved in the shape of Wakefield Trinity for Reece Lyne’s testimonial against Halifax Panthers, only one player was punished by the match review panel and that was David Gibbons of North Wales Crusaders.

Gibbons is formerly of the Bradford Bulls, Hunslet and Warrington Wolves is the son of former Batley Bulldogs man David Gibbons and nephew of his twin brother Anthony who previously coached the Leeds Rhinos’ women’s side.

His brother Joe is to wear the number 33 shirt for the Rhinos this year but young David has now received a £40 fine for contrary behaviour for new club North Wales Crusaders after their defeat to Swinton Lions.

This underlines the RFL’s changed approach to disciplinary with a clearer focus on fines rather than bans which is something Castleford Tigers boss Lee Radford has pushed for as he spoke to Tigers’ TV ahead of their clash with Keighley Cougars:

“Definitely, I think it’s just a smart decision as a competition the amount of games we’re playing it’s really high compared to the NRL. So the strain we put on our players is already a lot so to have four or five missing with suspension makes it difficult.

“Supporters want to see young players coming through but not because there is no one else to play.

“If you look at the end of last season the amount of teams with injuries.”

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