George Griffin #15, Castleford
Castleford v Leeds
Late hit on passer in the 4th minute
Dangerous Contact - A defending player makes contact with an opponent after the ball has been released by an opponent in a vulnerable position which causes excessive flexion to the head, neck or spinal column on an attacking player, which poses an unacceptable risk of injury to that player.
Decision On Charge
Summary of CM's submissions on the Charge / evidence:
Following a Match Review Panel meeting held on 31st May 2021, 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 4th minute of the above Match. In the Panel’s opinion you made contact with your opponent after the ball had been passed. The Panel believed that your actions were unnecessary and against the spirit of the game.
In accordance with the RFL’s On Field Sentencing Guidelines, the Panel consider that such offence is a Grade B offence (Dangerous Contact - A defending player makes contact with an opponent after the ball has been released by an opponent in a vulnerable position which causes excessive flexion to the head, neck or spinal column on an attacking player, which poses an unacceptable risk of injury to that player.). The normal suspension range for such offence is from 1 to 2 Match Suspension.
Summary of Player's submissions on the Charge / evidence:
It was a left shoulder tackle but despite it being late Griffin attempted to wrap his arms around Luke Gale to complete the tackle. It was not an intentional shoulder charge it was just misjudged timing in the attempt to complete the tackle.
Upon watching the different angle it is clear it is careless not reckless as tackle was attempted.
Reasons for Decision:
Late contact dangerous contact
Decision On Sanction (where found to have committed Misconduct)
Summary of CM's submissions on the appropriate sanction:
• MRP reviewed an incident which took place in approx. 4th minute
• MRP were concerned at the manner in which Mr Griffin makes contact with his opponent.
• Opponent Mr Gale takes ball forward then moves laterally before releasing the ball
• Mr Griffin can clearly see opponent has released the ball however carries on into contact
• Player makes no attempt to wrap the ball. There is no attempt to make a tackle
• The contact is forceful. Significant flexion of the head/neck area
• An injury has occurred to the opponent
• This contact was reckless and dangerous.
• Graded B due to;
- Late contact
- No attempt to tackle
- Significant force
Summary of Player's submissions on the appropriate sanction:
George has got a clear record and a long career and as always been a professional player. The grading seems harsh when you compare it to the Liam Watts tackle which is a clear shoulder charge. Liam Watts with a bad record got grade B 1 match ban so George should not get any ban.
Reasons for Decision:
We accept that George Griffin admitted it was late contact however this made Luke Gale vulnerable and not prepared to accept the tackle. The tackle was forceful and late. It is accepted that it was careless rather than reckless and the attempt of tackle was made however due to the late nature that it is considered dangerous.
Luke Gale is small build compared to George Griffin.
This was a breach of code of duty which clubs have been informed about multiple times pre-season.
Mr Powell presented a good argument but simply did not agree with it so will not change the grade.