Smith calls for disciplinary panel to use ‘common sense’

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith has called for more common sense from the RFL disciplinary panel.

It comes after Rovers half-back Jordan Abdull was charged with a Grade D offence for allegedly grabbing the genitals of St Helens’ James Bentley on Friday.

Abdull faces a ban of three to five matches if found guilty at a hearing on Tuesday evening, an outcome Smith believes would be unwarranted for what he believes was a clear accident.

“The tackle in between the legs has gone on for years and it is not for any unsavoury reasons,” said Smith.

“Some accidents have happened over the years, such as people trying to grab a pair of shorts or just make a tackle and that is what Jordan (Abdull) was doing.

“Sometimes, it goes astray and accidents happen and that is what it was.”

Abdull’s actions have been deemed similar in some quarters to what St Helens’ Tommy Makinson committed in their game against Castleford last month, resulting in a five-match ban for the England winger.

However Smith says the two incidents are not comparable and believes his player is now getting unfairly punished because of the recent events.

He added: “I think if you watch Jordan, he reacts that way. He was like ‘I did not get the shorts, I may have got something else’.

“He pulls his hand out straight away but because somebody has recently been suspended it looks as though there will be another one.

“We are sort of resigned to him getting suspended rather than a bit of common sense.

“It is what it is but if it is that way, put something out to prevent it. However, if he made that tackle a month ago, there is no way he would be appearing before judiciary, no way!”

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