Yesterday St Helens appealed Morgan Knowles’ ban for dangerous contact from their win over Hull FC.
However, the independent tribunal on Tuesday night upheld the Match Review Panel’s decision, meaning that Knowles will miss Thursday night’s Betfred Super League fixture away at Huddersfield Giants.
Knowles was charged with making a Grade B ‘Dangerous Contact’ offence with a Hull FC opponent during last Friday’s Betfred Super League match. The Match Review Panel had decided that the contact was reckless, posed an unacceptable risk of injury to the Hull FC player, and issued a one-match suspension.
The Saints argued that the contact was ‘careless’ rather than ‘reckless’ and that the charge should therefore be downgraded from B to A.
The independent tribunal found the grading to be correct and also issued Knowles a £500 fine.
Hearing about the fine, some fans questioned why he didn’t receive an extra game’s ban.
This is because in the past we have seen players given an extra match suspension following failed appeals seen as “frivolous.”
The fact that he was fined £500 suggests that the appeal was perhaps “frivolous” though it is key to point out that that word has not been used by the panel perhaps due to the fact that Saints only contested the grading and not the ban itself.
Speaking to Serious About Rugby League, a spokesperson for the RFL said: “Each tribunal considers each case on its individual merits and arrives at a decision accordingly in line with operational rules and sentencing guidelines.”
This would suggest that the panel decided there wasn’t anything “frivolous” about the appeal.
I hope this explanation suits all the plonkers that have made detrimental comments about saints getting preferential treatment,