Leeds Rhinos have been unsuccessful in their appeal of the added one game ban to star second-row Rhyse Martin’s ban for a high tackle on Castleford Tigers’ Alex Mellor.
Martin initially received a one-match ban for the tackle on his former teammate which did indeed break Mellor’s nose but was somewhat accidental contact and Mellor said himself that the incident didn’t warrant a ban.
Leeds felt the same appealing the ban but the disciplinary panel deemed the appeal ‘frivolous’ on the grounds that he wasn’t challenging the Grade A charge but rather the ban which had to be received due to his prior record.
Thus a second game was added to his ban meaning he was set to miss both Leeds’ play-off win against Catalans last week but now their semi-final against Wigan this week.
The Rhinos appealed the view that the original appeal was ‘frivolous’ this evening but the panel has dismissed this upholding the added game meaning he will miss the semi-final.
They cannot add another game to the ban so Martin would be available for the Grand Final should Leeds win on Friday night.
Martin is one goal away from setting a new Super League record for most consecutive goal kicks without missing and five short of the world record held by Jamie Ellis and Liam Finn at 41.
It’s a damning blow with Leeds sweating on the fitness of Mikolaj Oledzki, Aidan Sezer, Harry Newman and David Fusitu’a having already lost Morgan Gannon to a HIA who would have started in the backrow in Martin’s place.
It means former Wigan man Zak Hardaker will be left with the kicking duties.