Super League referee Robert Hicks goes in on players ‘milking’ penalties

The issue of ‘milking’ penalties has been a contentious issue in recent weeks and months.

That has, in turn, led to an increase in players picking up prone rivals regardless of a potential injury or not.

Titus Gwaze of Halifax Panthers was given an eight-match ban after doing just that to Barrow Raiders’ Hakim Miloudi whilst St Helens’ Sione Mata’utia was also banned after appearing to lift Huddersfield Giants star Danny Levi.

But, for RFL Director of Legal and Operations, Robert Hicks, he wants it all to stop now.

“We’re big on it because it’s become an issue in the sport this season – until this year, we’d had one or two incidents across the last three or four years,” Hicks told the Sin Bin podcast.

“We’ve reminded clubs over the last couple of years about this, but as this season has gone on we’ve seen more and more players continue to do it despite an actual email that was sent to clubs midway through the season.

“The message could not be clearer from the governing body: people have to stop moving injured players, even if they think the player is milking the injury.

“It’s not for players to make that decision – leave that to the experts.

“I know that there’s been some criticism within the sport about players milking injuries in order to win penalties.

“We had that incident a few years ago, but we managed to get rid of it because the players, the coaches and the referees all worked together to stop it.

“My advice to the players and coaches would be that you need to call out the players in your own club and they need to stop doing that.

“You’re not helping the look of the sport and it’s about time that players – if they’re injured stay down – receive the treatment they need, and stop trying to milk extra penalties and extra sanctions against opposition players.

“It’s not a good look for the sport and it needs to stop.”

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