Huddersfield Giants forward calls for consistency from RFL disciplinary panel after suspension

Aaron Bower
Luke Yates

Huddersfield Giants forward Luke Yates has issued a plea for clarification from those running rugby league’s disciplinary procedures following a controversial set of findings from the sport’s match review panel – saying remaining silent ‘isn’t an option’.

Yates is currently serving a three-match ban at the start of the new Super League season following a tip tackle in a pre-season friendly against Castleford Tigers. However, he has taken to Instagram to highlight what he believes is a lack of consistency in the process – citing two incidents involving Wigan duo Adam Keighran and Harry Smith.

Keighran committed a similar-looking offence during the Warriors’ pre-season hit-out against Hull FC: while Smith was sin-binned during Saturday’s victory against Castleford for a similar challenge on the Tigers’ Luke Hooley. Neither were given suspensions by the match review panel, and in Smith’s case, it means he is free to feature in Saturday’s World Club Challenge.

Yates was quick to stress that he felt neither incident merited a suspension, but instead pointed at his own case and subsequent ban as to the frustrations he has at the minute with the process.

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Yates wrote on the platform: “I’m not trying to speak for all players in the Super League, but consistency from the disciplinary panel would be very much appreciated.

“I am in no way saying the first two clips should receive punishment – the best Super League players need to be on the field throughout the season, and Harry and Adam absolutely deserve to play in the World Club Challenge this weekend.

“I am simply asking for clarification on why I have received a fine and a 3 game ban for tackling a player who then lands on his back, and the first two clips didn’t receive a suspension.

“I wouldn’t usually speak up on situations like this, but being silent on this issue isn’t an option.”

Yates will miss the Giants‘ next two fixtures following his own incident, having already sat out their season-opener against Leigh Leopards last Friday, which Ian Watson’s side won.

Yates is not the only individual to speak out on the disciplinary process following the opening round of the season. Castleford director of rugby Danny Wilson has demanded an urgent meeting with the relevant authorities to understand more about the grading process, after prop Liam Watts was ordered to appear before a tribunal on Tuesday evening.

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