Jordan Abdull #7, Hull KR
St Helens v Hull KR
Other contrary behaviour (Bentley) in the 67th minute
Law: 15.1 (i)
Detail: Behaves in way contrary to the true spirit of the game – Other Contrary Behaviour
Decision On Charge
Guilty, but challenging grading
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence:
Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 14th September, you are charged with misconduct for a breach of Law 15.1(i) during the above Match.
The Panel reviewed an incident which occurred in approximately the 67th minute of the above Match. In the Panel’s opinion, you promoted your hand to the groin area of an opponent (Bentley) and appeared to apply pressure to the genital area. The Panel believed that your actions were unnecessary, had the potential to cause your opponent an injury, against the true 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 D offence (Behaves in way contrary to the true spirit of the game – Other Contrary Behaviour) In accordance with the On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the normal suspension range for such offence is 3 to 5 matches.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence:
Player in attendance alongside Chairman Neil Hudgell.
JA explained to the panel that he went into the tackle with a teammate who was “up top” whilst he was trying to hook the leg of his opponent in order to take him to ground. In the process of the tackle his opponent raised his knee which meant his hand followed up between the legs of the ball carrier.
NH addressed the tribunal and stated that there was certainly not a grab involved with this incident and that charges like this can range from Grade A to Grade F depending on severity. He argued that this incident was of more of a Grade A level rather than the charged Grade D as this suggests that it was serious.
He believed that this was a careless incident and that first contact was with the thigh of the opponent and that the twisting in the tackle resulted in JA’s hand ending up between his opponent’s legs. JA has an open hand at all times and whilst they may have been contact there can certainly have been no squeezing. JA also drops off the tackle before it is complete as he realises the position he has ended up in.
The players team are under pressure at the time of the incident and he feels that by JA letting go and pulling away from tackle this demonstrates he showed a duty of care to his opponent. He added that JA had an unblemished disciplinary record and there was no injury caused to the ball carrier. In conclusion he felt that the incident should be towards the lower end of the grading.
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction:
• Player charged under RFL Rule 15.1(i) Behaves in any way contrary to the true spirit of the game – Other Contrary Behaviour
• Incident occurred in the 67th minute of the match and placed on report
• Mr Abdull makes approach between the legs of opponent with right arm as attempting to destabilise the tackle.
• The hand of Mr Abdull is in the position due to the turning of the tackle
• Mr Abdull does not withdraw his hand from this position and
• Immediate physical reaction from Mr Bentley, who reports the matter twice to the referee
• Mr Bentley clearly reports a grab to his testicles
• Footage clearly shows Mr Abdulls hand placed in the area in which has been injured following contact
• Graded D due to;
- Player does not seek out this contact intentionally
- Player does not adapt or withdraw contact on opponent
- Once the hand is in situ the player applies pressure to this area
- Unnecessary and not part of the game
- Opponent is in clear discomfort following the contact
- No place in the game for such acts
Reasons for Decision:
The Tribunal thank the submissions from both sides. They note that the charge has been admitted and that the club and player have argued that the grading of the charge should be lowered.
The Tribunal are in agreement that the players hand should not of been in the position it ended up in, although they agree that he withdraw his arm as soon as he realised the situation he was in and that there was also no grabbing motion.
The note that the player has never had any previous disciplinary issues and also take into his guilty plea. The therefore feel the charge should be downgraded to Grade C and as such hand down a two match suspension and a £500 standard fine.