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Super League confirm rule change after Fa’amanu Brown controversy

After Monday’s meeting of the Match Review Panel, the Rugby Football League (RFL) recognizes that the introduction of the new Head Contact Sentencing Framework caused controversy and confusion during Round Two of the Betfred Super League. This was most evident in Friday’s match at Warrington Wolves, with the removal of Hull FC‘s Nu Brown late in the first half.

After reviewing the incident, the MRP concluded that it did not warrant a charge under the Framework. This has highlighted a lack of clarity in the procedures regarding head-on-head contact, which left the officials in an awkward position during Friday’s game.

The section of the Framework relating to head-on-head contact will now be revised to emphasize that it applies only to initial contact. Once the mechanics of the tackle become more fluid, officials can use their knowledge and game-understanding to adjust the sanction, reflecting the degree of responsibility of the tackler.

This point will be reiterated to Betfred Super League head coaches at a pre-arranged meeting on Wednesday and to playing representatives of all 12 Super League clubs at a separate meeting later in the day.

Super League disciplinary charges

Hull FC signing Nu Brown sent off

Following Round Two of the Betfred Super League, the Match Review Panel have issued the following sanctions:

Jack Brown (Hull FC) – Grade B Dangerous Contact – £250 Fine
Harvey Barron (Hull FC) – Grade B Dangerous Contact – £250 Fine
Will Gardner (Hull FC) – Grade B Dangerous Contact – £250 Fine
Liam Sutcliffe (Hull FC) – Grade D Contact with Match Officials – 2 Match Penalty Notice and £250 Fine
James Donaldson (Leeds Rhinos) – Grade D Head Contact – 2 Match Penalty Notice and £250 Fine
Sam Lisone (Leeds Rhinos) – Grade D Head Contact – 3 Match Penalty Notice and £250 Fine

So Hull FC have lost one player to a ban in the shape of Sutcliffe after his contact with a match official whilst Leeds Rhinos have lost two players with some strain on their pack increased.

Donaldson has been hit with a two game ban for a high tackle whilst Sam Lisone has been hit with a three match ban himself for a tackle that many felt wasn’t as bad. He will miss the games against Catalans Dragons, Leigh Leopards and St Helens.

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