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“The Match Review Panel certainly aren’t to blame” – Former Rugby League commentator Rod Studd on Morgan Knowles ban

Last night there was a huge twist in the narrative building towards Saturday’s Grand Final.

This is because Morgan Knowles’ two-match ban was overturned much to the surprise of many in the rugby league community.

Knowles was given a yellow card for a tackle in which he twisted the arm of Salford’s Chris Atkin in last Saturday’s semi-final. He subsequently was given a two-match ban on Monday which was appealed on Tuesday unsuccessfully as Kristian Woolf missed the Man of Steel awards to get his star loose-forward on the field on Saturday.

That seemed to be the end of it until last night the RFL released the findings of a second appeal in which Knowles’ ban was overturned enabling him to play on Saturday.

A member of the last four Dream Teams, it is a case of fans want the best players playing on the biggest stage, but many supporters were unhappy with the verdict after one appeal had already failed.

Many have criticised the Match Review Panel after the verdict though the full minutes haven’t yet been released.

However, a former Sky Sports rugby league commentator Rod Studd who has also covered darts, has defended the review panel.

Stud also works on the Sin Bin show on the RFL where the biggest disciplinary decisions are discussed by him and his guests.

He believes the Match Review Panel “certainly aren’t to blame” focusing more on St Helens. He does however say he is yet to have all the facts.

He took to Twitter to say: “I haven’t got all the details. I can say the MRP certainly aren’t to blame. They issued a two match penalty notice. There would be no appeal + no fuss if saints had accepted that. They chose to put their own interests first. Clubs often do that.

“I’m sure lots of journalists are asking questions of the RFL + st Helens about the Knowles saga so all will become clear. I’ll be grilling the relevant people on SinBin to get an explanation but at the moment I’m not in possession of all the facts.”

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