Paul Vaughan appeal verdict revealed

Paul Vaughan faced the Operational Rules Tribunal last night and was served a four game ban as well as being fined £500 for his actions during Warrington Wolves’ clash with St Helens, and tonight he once again faced the tribunal as he appealed his decision.

The verdict has now come in and it confirms that Vaughan has been unsuccessful in his appeal against the charge and therefore his four match ban will be upheld.

The RFL announced the news via social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

They posted: “Paul Vaughan has lost his appeal against a four-match suspension for making unnecessary contact with an opponent during last Friday’s Betfred Super League fixture against St Helens.”

Warrington also took to X to confirm their failed appeal, stating: “The Club has been unsuccessful in our appeal against Paul Vaughan’s four-match suspension for a Grade E charge.”

Vaughan had initially been hit with a Grade E charge of ‘making unnecessary contact with an opponent who may be injured’ during Wire’s clash with Saints last Friday, the former Australian international seemingly lifting Sione Mata’utia by the shirt at the play the ball.

An earlier example of such an offence was when Hull KR skipper Shaun Kenny Dowall did the same to Leigh Leopards’ Ben Reynolds, he too was banned for four matches earlier in the season.

Many ridiculed Vaughan’s ban with Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin urging fans to ‘go get their popcorn’ and watch it for entertainment, such were his thoughts on how soft the ban was.

“Tell me that we’re not getting it wrong, tell me that the match review panel do not get this wrong. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.

“It’s a four-match ban, and if Warrington were to make the next stages, which I don’t think they will because I think Huddersfield will get a result on Friday, then Paul Vaughan would have missed the Grand Final over the most petty nonsense that I’ve ever seen.”

The initial findings by the Match Review Panel found Vaughan guilty on the basis that it’s not for a player to deem a player injured or not, but only for the medical staff.

“Whether a player is in fact injured, and if so to what extent, is exclusively a matter for the assessment of the medical staff in conjunction with any necessary match official input. Contact, of whatever type/force, from another player upon a seemingly injured player has the potential for serious medical consequences for that injured player.”

More incredible was the fact that the player involved, Sione Mata’utia, had provided an email to the tribunal in which he had explained he was play acting in an effort to time waste.

On Mata’utia’s admission of time-wasting, the tribunal declared: “Mr Vaughan rightly assessed, as it turned out, that Mr Matautia was simply wasting time. But it was not his assessment to make at the time, and no amount of hindsight alters that position.

Despite those admission the tribunal found ‘no choice’ but to suspend Vaughan, with their initial findings as follows.

“So, whilst the Tribunal consider that this was very much at the bottom of the scale for an offence of this sort, they are reasonably satisfied that it has been proved.

“The whole point of this offence is that players in the heat of battle are not to make assessments as to who is injured or not.

“Players must leave opponents to get to their feet or receive treatment. If they are time wasting the Referee should intervene. Players cannot take it into their own hands.

“Each player has a duty of care to their opponent and to ensure that their actions do not in any way endanger that opponent.

“Given the findings the Tribunal feel they have no choice, however, they do feel that any suspension should be at the bottom of the Grade E scale. They therefore suspend the player for 4-matches. He is also fined £500.”