Leigh Leopards have been successful in their appeal against a one-match ban handed to Tom Amone, meaning the influential forward will be free to play on Friday night in their play-off clash at Hull KR.
Amone – named in the Super League Dream Team alongside four of his teammates – was charged on two accounts by the Match Review Panel on Monday following the last round of the regular season, in which Leigh were edged out on home soil by neighbours Wigan Warriors.
One of 12 names cited by the MRP, a second Grade B charge for dangerous contact brought a £250 fine for the prop. More notably though, the first charge against him on the list was for an alleged ‘crusher’ tackle on Toby King midway through the first half of the final night clash.
Amone didn’t appear to put any real force onto the Wigan man’s neck, but when King was forced off for a HIA, referee Liam Moore placed the incident on the report, and the Match Review Panel subsequently deemed it enough for a ban.
Leigh confirmed they would appeal, and the RFL have tonight confirmed they have been successful in their challenge of the decision.
Leigh Leopards ace Tom Amone sees ban written off on appeal
In a statement following Amone’s tribunal, the RFL said: “Leigh Leopards challenged two charges against Tom Amone arising from Monday’s Match Review Panel, both relating to the Betfred Super League round 27 fixture against Wigan Warriors.
“Their initial challenge to a Grade B charge of dangerous contact was upheld, with the independent Operational Rules Tribunal accepting a plea of not guilty.
“Leigh then withdrew their challenge to a second Grade B charge of dangerous contact.
“Amone’s punishment for that offence was automatically downgraded from a one-match suspension to a £250 fine because of the dismissal of the previous charge, meaning he is available for Friday’s elimination play-off at Hull KR.”
Adrian Lam’s men get much needed boost ahead of play-offs
At the end of a memorable first year back in the top tier, which has also seen them lift the Challenge Cup for the first time in 52 years, Leigh now embark on their maiden Super League play-off campaign.
Entering uncharted territory, Amone’s ban being written off provides a much-needed boost for the now heavily depleted Leopards. Adrian Lam’s side will be without Zak Hardaker, who had surgery on his broken hand yesterday, and captain John Asiata who has done more damage to his hamstring than first feared.
They also remain without centre Ricky Leutele, who has been absent since late July, also requiring surgery after picking up an injury in a win at Salford Red Devils.
Hometown boy Frankie Halton, whose start to his career at the Leigh Sports Village has been an injury-riddled one, will return for the trip to Craven Park however, and will likely line up alongside Amone.