Why Harry Newman’s charge was deemed ‘frivolous’ as controversy hits Leeds Rhinos man

Leeds Rhinos pair Zane Tetevano and Harry Newman have been banned for five and three matches respectively following independent disciplinary tribunals last night (Tuesday 28 June).

Tetevano was sent off for a high tackle during the second half of the Rhinos’ Betfred Super League match at St Helens last week and referred to tribunal by the Match Review Panel on a grade D charge to which he pleaded guilty.

Newman pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the Match Review Panel’s grade C charge of using aggressive language or body language towards the referee in the same game. The tribunal upheld the Match Review Panel’s two match penalty notice and, finding the challenge to be frivolous, added a further match, deeming the original charge to be correct.

Newman’s ban comes in the wake of his outburst at referee Tom Grant as a St Helens man scored on Thursday’s fixture against the Rhinos.

The Disciplinary Match Review Panel’s minutes stated: “Law 15.1 (g) Disputes using aggressive language or body language Grade C.”

It means Newman will miss games against Hull FC and Castleford Tigers with the latter at the Magic Weekend as well as a fixture with Toulouse Olympique.

The centre has only just returned from a horror hamstring injury.

Following Newman’s citation and charge, Leeds revealed that they would appeal the challenge on Monday.

“Obviously I’ve been banned for aggressive behaviour towards a referee,” Newman told the Yorkshire Post.

“I’m just a very passionate player and sometimes things boil over.

“I don’t think I was aggressive towards him but that’s what I’ve been given so I’ll just have to take it and see what comes from that.

“I know the refs have got a tough job to do – they can’t get everything right and as players, it’s tough when you’re in the moment and things sometimes get the better of you.”

Both players were also fined £500.

Earlier today the following players accepted penalties imposed by the Match Review Panel.

Denive Balmforth (Hull FC) – High tackle, Grade A – 0 matches
Elijah Taylor (Salford Red Devils) – Strike with knee, Grade B – 1 match
Bodene Thompson (Leeds Rhinos) – Trip, Grade B – 2 matches
Miteli Vulikjapani (Hull FC) – Dangerous contact, Grade C – 2 matches
Liam Watts (Castleford Tigers) – Dangerous contact, Grade A – 1 match

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