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Leeds Rhinos player given three match ban

Bradford Bulls vs Leeds Rhinos

A number of suspensions have been issued following last night’s tribunal hearings including a Leeds Rhinos player who was charged with Grade E.

Jonathan Smith of North Wales Crusaders is banned for five matches, having been found guilty of a Grade E charge of foul and abusive language during his side’s AB Sundecks 1895 Cup match against Swinton Lions.

Three community game players – Liam McLoughin (Orrell St James), and Daniel Halmshaw and Liam Coe (both West Bowling) – will miss a combined total of 14 games for dangerous contact (Grade F), punching (Grade F) and Grade E punching respectively.

Leeds Rhinos player attends tribunal

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 05/05/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Round 11 – Leeds Rhinos v Salford Red Devils – Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England – Leeds stand for the national anthem ahead of the coronation of King Charles the Third on the 6th May 2023. Leeds Headingley Stadium England Copyright: x xSWpix.comxt/axPhotographyxHubxLtdxAllanxMcKenzie/SWpix.comx SWP-2046-0007

Leeds Rhinos’ Joe Diskin will miss three matches following an unsuccessful challenge against a Grade E head contact charge. The grade was found to be correct.

The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred at 17 40 in the match. In the Panel’s opinion, Diskin made contact with the head of your opponent.

In the Panel’s opinion Diskin’s actions were serious misconduct, had the potential for injury and are against the spirit of the game.

In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade E offence – Head Contact.

The normal suspension range for such offence is 3 to 5 matches. Match Review Panel reviewed an incident in the above match. Mr Diskin contacts the head of his opponent with his own head.

The MRP deemed this to be forceful and dangerous. Under the framework this is deemed to be a high level of force where on initial contact it is head on head.

Therefore, the entry grading the Match Review Panel submit is a Grade E charge. In addition, the opponent has had to leave the field of play to be assessed by the medical personnel at the game.

The mitigating factors are the player is making a definite attempt to change his height in an effort to avoid the ball carrier’s head. The aggravating factors are that the trajectory of the tacklers head is always going towards the ball carrier’s head.

Given the mitigating and aggravating factors present the Match Review Panel see no reason why this matter should be downgraded from a Grade E charge.

The Match Review Panel submit that the appropriate tariff in this instance is one of a 3 match suspension and the relevant fine at this level.

This seems harsh given Diskin is a young a player just making his way but the sport’s ambition to prevent head contact remains strong.

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