Why Leeds Rhinos’ Rhyse Martin and Blake Austin avoided bans after Grand Final

Earlier today, three St Helens players were named by the Match Review Panel for incidents which occurred in the Grand Final against Leeds.

Morgan Knowles received a one-match ban as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook also copped a one game suspension for contact with the match official. The same offence only yielded a caution for winger Tommy Makinson.

Meanwhile, no Leeds players were banned after the final but three were picked up the panel for incidents that the panel ultimately felt they had no case to answer.

The first player is James Bentley who for the second week in a row was included in the disciplinary minutes but copped no ban. Bentley was cited for a high tackle but received no ban with the Match Review Panel saying: “Player is dropping arm down towards the ball when attempting to make a tackle. Side of hand catches face but there is no force in the contact.”

Bentley was punished in the game with the subsequent penalty resulting in the opening try for Matty Lees.

Fellow second-row Rhyse Martin was also in hot water later in the game when he picked up Jonny Lomax with a powerful if a bit of a dangerous tackle.

However he too avoided a ban for the following reasons: “Player is lifted and legs go beyond the horizontal however it is not likely that the first part of opponents body to make contact with the ground would be the head or the neck.”

Lastly, Blake Austin also featured in the minutes for dangerous contact but also escaped a ban on these grounds: “Player holds but does not roll on the opponents leg. Opponent trying to get up causes the movement.”

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