Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith takes unhappy swipe at Rhyse Martin ban

Last night, Rhyse Martin was hit with the news that not only was his appeal against a one-match unsuccessful, but that he had had his ban upgraded for a ‘frivolous’ appeal.

That has since prompted outcry from the rugby league fraternity and now Leeds head coach Rohan Smith has taken aim at that suspension.

“The charge itself I’m not really sure if that’s the type of tackle that is actually an issue,” Smith said.

“It is an accident, I do think Rhyse was taking some care in the way he went about it. It was a falling player and a glancing touch and to me the process around it all, you are essentially guilty until you are found guiltier if you decide to appeal.

“The process in itself where teams are on online calls that doesn’t have the ability to go frame through frame with real clarity, it is a little vague, I’m not sure why we aren’t face to face looking at the same screen and technology that we have available. It will make the process a little clearer

“It was difficult to sure, we had a 30-minute conversation led by the judge who probed questions. We had a detailed analysis of the tackle and a comparison clip that wasn’t the same style of tackle that was ranked as a caution and we though it had more force applied.

“The other part the RFL used was a James Roby tackle which we analysed closely and were able to provide some reasons why it was different and wasn’t as significant as that tackle.

“We thought there was a fair conversation as it was led by the judge, I’m not quite sure the definition of frivolous which seems different to the definition I have had from legal people. How it is used by the RFL seems different.”

Smith also believes that an official review could take place with all the changes occurring at the RFL.

“The RFL are undergoing massive changes and with that comes change and review and you would imagine based on the amount of talk on the Match Review Panel there would be an official review done.

“It was a glancing touch, there was no swinging arm or intent. players didn’t react, Ben Thaler – who is one of the most experienced refs in the game – and the video ref in his ear and they didn’t pick it up.”

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