The past weekend marked the opening weekend of the Championship and also the final game of pre-season for many Super League teams.
It was throughout some of those pre-season friendlies that it became not so friendly and we saw match officials having to dish out both yellow and red cards.
The Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos game, both side’s last prior to their opening Super League fixtures, saw three yellow cards dished out with the first going to Elliot Minchella, who was sent for 10 following a tackle on full-back Richie Myler.
The second and third flash of yellow came when Rovers’ full-back Lachlan Coote slipped as he carried resulting in him copping Aidan Sezer’s elbow, which saw Sezer sent for 10 for the blow and Coote for his reaction.
It’s now been announced that Coote has received a £250 fine for the offence, but the other two players saw no further punishment.
This Grade B offence highlights the new disciplinary system and the way in which fans can be issued instead of bans, as seen with this RFL statement.
“Two other players have been charged with Grade B offences by the Match Review Panel, with their offences carrying fines without any suspension under the changes to sentencing guidelines introduced for the 2023 season.
“Lachlan Coote of Hull KR has been fined £250 for a Grade B charge of Other Striking in a pre-season fixture against Leeds Rhinos, and Brandon Douglas of Sheffield Eagles has been fined £125 for Foul abuse to the Referee in the Betfred Championship fixture at Halifax Panthers.”
That had come a day after we had seen the first red card of pre-season and it was the first of Josh McGuire’s Warrington career, with the 2017 World Cup winner seeing red on debut.
McGuire was sent off late on during the Wire’s game against Leigh Leopards with much confusion surrounding the decision, dissent being the presumed reason, although McGuire himself remained confused even yesterday.
He told Sky Sports News: “I’m still waiting to hear the report as well because there was a bit of a back and forth between the two teams under the posts after we scored. We went back to half way and I got a red card, so the review is going tomorrow and I’m hoping it all gets settled and that I’m ready to go on Thursday.”
That charge of a Grade F penalty carries a six or more game ban, something that now hangs over both McGuire and Leigh’s Tom Amone.
Under Law 15.1 (f) a player can be charged and therefore banned for “verbal abuse based on race, colour, religion, gender, sexual preference, disability, national or ethnic origin or any other form of Unacceptable Behaviour or Language”.
That of course would rule out both players for far beyond the season opener, and in fact mean they’d return at the very end of March for Amone or early April for McGuire.
The tribunal will be heard at some stage on Tuesday meaning it will be a long wait for both Warrington and Leigh ahead of Round One especially as Warrington will have to confirm their 21-man squad for the clash against Leeds on Tuesday.