This season will see Super League disciplinary rules come more into line with those of the NRL and part of that will be the implementation of fines for lesser offences instead of match bans.
We’ve already seen this in the pre-season with North Wales Crusaders’ David Gibbons receiving a £40 fine for something that would have resulted in a ban previously.
It makes plenty of sense to take fines over bans, particularly when the bans are multiple matches, however that’s not what Parramatta Eels’ star Ryan Matterson did following his illegal ‘crusher’ tackle in the 2022 NRL Grand Final.
Matterson, fed up of paying fines throughout the course of the year, opted for a three match ban instead of paying a $4,000 fine, something that shocked NRL media and rugby league fans worldwide.
The Eels later appealed this citing that Matterson was rushed into a decision during an emotional and busy time given that he was granted just 24 hours to appeal and the ruling had come immediately after the Grand Final loss during a time when Eels’ stars were spending time with family.
Matterson was previously very assured in his decision given comments he made at the time to the Telegraph, but obviously once the off-season kicked in both he and the team realised the error, as reported here.
“I just feel that $4000 is pretty hefty considering I’ve already paid close to $4000 in fines this year for things that are absurd,” Matterson said at the time.
“At the end of the day I have personal things I need to worry about outside of rugby league. I just didn’t think it was warranted. If you do something wrong at work, they don’t take money off you.”
It’s now been confirmed that despite an appeal from Parramatta the ban will be upheld and he’s set to miss the first three rounds of the NRL, a huge blow for the side aiming to return to the Grand Final.
Matterson will miss fixtures against Melbourne Storm, Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Eagles.