RFL to investigate comments of Catalans owner after Grand Final defeat

Drew Darbyshire
Catalans owner Bernard Guasch at Nou Camp

The Rugby Football League says their compliance department will consider the comments made by Catalans owner Bernard Guasch following their Grand Final defeat.

The French side fell short to a 12-10 loss to St Helens in their maiden Super League Grand Final on Saturday.

Speaking after the game, Guasch said he would never again allow his side to play a final under English referees after being frustrated by the officiating at Old Trafford. He said he was particularly disappointed by the lack of action over an early punch by Saints forward Sione Mata’utia on James Maloney.

Guasch, whose side won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2018, wants there to be neutral referees in future finals.

A furious Guasch

In an interview with Perpignan-based newspaper L’Independent, Guasch said: “As long as I’m president of the Catalans Dragons, I’ll never play a Super League final again until we have three Australian referees.

“I’m furious, at some point I say stop? I wanted to react like an English gentleman because I have a lot of respect for this competition.

“I am proud to have lived these three extraordinary days at Old Trafford as the English know how to organise them.

“But I saw the match again and I tell myself that I cannot let this go by without reacting and making a decision.”

Meanwhile, St Helens back-rower Mata’utia and Catalans hooker Michael McIlorum have both been given one-match bans by the RFL’s match review panel for foul play.

Mata’utia was charged with a Grade A punching offence on Maloney, whilst McIlorum has been charged for an alleged trip. Both players have until Tuesday morning to challenge the punishments.

Meanwhile, Catalans coach Steve McNamara paid tribute to Grand Final winners St Helens, saying Kristian Woolf’s side are one of the all-time greats.

McNamara said: “We’ve come into our maiden Grand Final and we’ve been beaten by one of the greats in St Helens… you have to say that now after winning three Grand Finals in a row.”