Today the first major disciplinary decisions were made by the RFL as Super League stars waited nervously to have their fates determined as they could miss the opening round of fixtures if they were hit by a ban.
Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos had a nervous wait after their game 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.”
The RFL have now announced: “Tom Amone of Leigh Leopards and Josh McGuire of Warrington Wolves have been referred to independent Operational Rules Tribunal hearings next Tuesday (February 14), each on a Grade F charge of Unacceptable Language in last Saturday’s pre-season fixture at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.”
As Coote and McGuire copped punishments, Elliot Minchella wasn’t so unlucky.
But why did his tackle not yield more punishment. Well as Leeds boss Rohan Smith testified towards after the game as he emphasised he and the person tackled Richie Myler felt there was little in it and the panel agreed explaining their decision in the minutes:
“Initial contact is with the shoulder of the opponent and opponent’s head makes secondary
contact with the player’s arm.”