RFL respond to disciplinary process criticism

The RFL has defended its disciplinary process following criticism from Hull KR owner Neil Hudgell.

Hudgell said the “sheer inconsistency” was “abhorrent” after his forward Joel Tomkins failed to have his one-match ban for a crusher tackle on Krisnan Inu at the Magic Weekend on Sunday.

He singled out former Warrington player and coach Paul Cullen, who was one of four members of the disciplinary panel, stoking further controversy given Tomkins will sit out the Robins’ Challenge Cup tie against Warrington as a result of his ban.

An RFL statement said: “Clubs will never agree with every decision of the panel, but we always hope that club officials will respect the disciplinary process and the integrity of individual panel members.

“Officials and supporters are reminded that the match review panel and the disciplinary tribunal are independent, the findings of this two-stage process are transparent and published on the RFL website, and processes are under constant peer-review.

“The panel and its processes were reviewed during 2017 by a working group which included senior representatives from both Super League and Championship clubs who commended the quality of the work.

“The individuals involved on the match review panel and the disciplinary tribunal all bring considerable expertise, including experience of playing or officiating at the highest level.

“The disciplinary tribunals are chaired by current or former judges.

“Members of both the match review panel and the disciplinary panel work on behalf of the whole sport, to give back to the sport, and they have and deserve our full respect and support.”

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