Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:05 am
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:27 am
RFL wrote:The decision on whether a player should be charged with On Field Misconduct resulting from a professional match is made by the RFL's Match Review Panel.
Any cases requiring a hearing are heard by the independent Operational Rules Tribunal which is made up of a legally qualified Chair (a serving or retired Judge) and the side members are ex-professional players
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:37 am
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:37 pm
Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:08 pm
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:20 pm
Jake Connor -Hull FC
St Helens v Hull FC -Warm Up Matches
Range of Recommended Sanctions in relation to Charged Grade* :
1 Match Penalty Notice
Details of Charge / Reason for NF :
Rule - 15.1(f) Detail – Uses offensive or obscene language – Foul and/or abusive language towards a Match Official Grade – B
Foul and abusive language in the 20th minute
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence:
Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 24th January 2019 you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(f) during the above Match. The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 20th minute of the above Match. In the Panel’s opinion you used words which constitute foul and abusive language towards a Match Official. The Panel consider that your actions are contrary to the spirit of the game and constitute misconduct. In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade B offence (Uses offensive or obscene language – Foul and/or abusive language towards a Match Official) The normal suspension range for such offence is from a 1 – 2 match suspension. The MRP were concerned by Mr Connor’s conduct towards a match official which led to him being temporarily dismissed in the 20th minute. Mr Connor approaches the Match Official to appeal a decision before being warned regarding his language, which was directed at the official. Mr Connor continues to remonstrate as he leaves the field when the yellow card is shown. The footage is consistent with the reports received and the MRP feels Mr Connor fails in his duty to the game as a whole to show respect to towards Match Officials. The grading at Grade B is due to; use of foul and abusive language, directed towards a Match Official; remonstrates further on the field following the temporary dismissal. Referee Chris Kendall then joined the hearing via the phone. After questioning by Laura Fairbank (RFL Compliance Manager) he explained that he was no more than a couple of metres away from Mr Connor and that there was certainly no case of mistaken identity. He told the hearing about what had happened and was sure that the comments were directed at him and not at other players who were in the vicinity. He clearly heard the comments and said they were made following a conversion between himself and the player. Commenting on the submissions from the two players Miss Fairbank stated Zeb Taia was walking away from where the incident happened and that just because Masimbaashe Matongo didn’t hear anything it didn’t mean it hadn’t happened. She added the Referee was confident that the comments were said and that the grading for such a charge is correct at Grade B. With regards to the comparison clip (Luke Walsh, St Helens) Miss Fairbank stated that some charges are graded outside of the guidelines and that the charge that was been heard today started at Grade B. In her opinion it could have been that the Walsh charge was incorrectly graded.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence:
The player attended and was accompanied by Lee Radford (Head Coach) and James Clark (CEO). Speaking on behalf of the player Mr Clark told the tribunal that the player and club dispute some of the details in the charge and that there are elements the club don’t accept. He explained that the player plays with his heart on his sleeve. He added that the player suffered a brief lapse in character but despite what is sometimes mentioned in the media the player is of good character. Mr Connor is a high profile and accepts the responsibility that comes with that, whilst his behaviour both on and off the pitch is always improving and he is popular with fans and fellow players alike. He insisted that the player is definitely not one who would abuse Match Officials. Mr Clark then asked Referee Chris Kendall some questions. When asked if the player was facing away from him Mr Kendall said the player turned away as the comments were made, however, he was confident that they were aimed at him as the two had been in discussion. Mr Clark then reiterated that they were not questioning the integrity of the official but pointed out the incident happened when there was a lot of players around following the awarding of a try and that there was also a lot of noise from the crowd and music that was being played. Mr Connor himself then added that he didn’t say the alleged comments before Mr Radford added that this kind of comment to a Referee had always been a sending off offence. The club provided statements from two players (Masimbaashe Matongo, Hull FC & Zeb Taia, St Helens) to support their defence. Mr Clark explained that the players team mate was closer to him than the player and didn’t hear any bad language get used. He again admitted the player used some bad language in the first instance but didn’t say the words he was alleged to have said which resulted in the charge. After viewing a comparison clip (Luke Walsh, Wakefield v St Helens in 2017) Mr Clark explained the club though this was a worse example of Foul Abuse to a Referee and that this incident was only graded at Grade A and resulted in a 1-match suspension. Mr Connor was invited to give the final thoughts and told the hearing that whilst he initially overreacted, he is 100% sure he didn’t tell the say the alleged words and was of the opinion that he must have been misheard. On leaving the field he had a brief conversion with an opponent and any discussion then was directed at them and not the referee.
Reason for decision:
The Tribunal acknowledge the contributions made by the club and add that it has taken them a long time to come to a decision in this hearing. However, they insist that Match Officials must be respected at all times. They have listened to all the submissions and after watching the footage they are satisfied that it seems to confirm what the Referee had said. They agree that the player lost his temper following the awarding of a try and have thought carefully about the case that was made out. The agree that the club have argued their case very well and as such don’t deem it to be frivolous, however they agree that it has been correctly graded at Grade B.
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction
Mr Clark reiterated the club’s position and explained that the player had no previous charges or disciplinary record. He added that the player was embarrassed by the charge brought against him and that he would learn from going through this process. They believed this would be taken as a message to the player and as such asked for the panel to show leniency by setting the suspension at the lowest end of the grading.
The MRP are happy with the grading at Grade B.
Reasons for Decision
The Tribunal thank both sides for their submissions during the hearing. They are content that this was not a frivolous challenge to the imposed Penalty Notice and therefore feel that the suspension should be at the lower end of the grade. They therefore hand down a 1-match suspension and £500 fine. However, as the challenge was not successful the club will lose the £500 bond that is put down.
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:59 pm
Nathan Mason (London) - Grade A Trip - 0 Match Penalty Notice
Ratu Naulago (Hull FC) - Grade A Contact with Match Official - 0 Match Penalty Notice
Thomas Leuluai (Wigan) - Grade A Dangerous Contact - 0 Match Penalty Notice
Joel Tomkins (Hull KR) - Grade D Questioning integrity of Match Official - Refer to tribunal
Jason Baitieri (Catalans) - Dangerous Contact
Kris Welham (Salford) - Use of knees
Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:21 pm
ccs wrote:Relatively quiet this weekend...
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:01 pm
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:30 pm