It’s fair to say that the decision to upgrade Rhyse Martin’s ban last night at the Operations Rules Tribunal hasn’t gone down well in most quarters.
Martin was found guilty of a Grade A High Tackle after hitting Castleford Tigers forward Alex Mellor around the head during Leeds’ win over the Tigers last weekend.
The Rhinos, ahead of a crunch clash against Catalans Dragons on Friday night, decided to appeal but that ban was then upgraded to two matches for a ‘frivolous appeal.’
For Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin, however, that is the right decision.
“What we have seen in the game is people feigning injuries to get penalties on the pitch. Ben Thaler didn’t give a penalty because he didn’t get a good view of it,” Wilkin said on Sky Sports.
“It’s then gone to the Match Review Panel and Martin hit Mellor in the head. It’s quite clear that is a one-match ban and they have appealed it to try and get him into the play-offs.
“If you appeal it and it is frivolous then it gets extended. Leeds know the results.”
Wilkin also laid into rugby league players in general, stating that the game is becoming more like football despite desires to move away from that comparison.
“There’s not much in his, go back a few years and it’s not a penalty, but we’ve got to get out of this habit of waiting for players who are staying down and rolling around on the floor who pretend they are injured and players get a penalty after referees look at the video screens.
“We claim we are not like football where they dive around but it’s not true – rugby players dive around as much as football payers.”
It’s fair to say Wilkin’s comments will probably not be met with the best of reception from Leeds fans.