Leeds will appeal against the frivolous nature of the ban handed to Rhyse Martin on Tuesday evening, head coach Rohan Smith has confirmed.
The Rugby Football League’s match review initially gave Martin a one-match ban for a Grade A high tackle on Castleford forward Alex Mellor two weeks ago.
Leeds appealed the suspension but were unsuccessful in doing so. As a result, Martin saw his ban doubled. An independent tribunal found the challenge to be frivolous and issued an additional £500 fine.
The Papua New Guinea international was forced to miss the eliminator play-off against Catalans Dragons and Friday’s semi-final at Wigan.
But the Rhinos will make a last-ditch attempt to have their goal-kicking forward available for their trip to Wigan.
Castleford back-rower Mellor even defended his opponent Martin on social media. He wrote: “It’s not even a penalty, never mind a ban! I feel for you my mate.”
“I’m devastated by this outcome,” Rhyse Martin said.
— Alex Mellor (@melloralex) September 6, 2022
Martin’s case will be heard by a disciplinary panel on Tuesday night.
Leeds low on troops for Wigan clash
Rhinos boss Smith provided an injury update on his side in his pre-match press conference. He confirmed that captain Ash Handley and Young Player of the Year nominee Morgan Gannon are out.
Aidan Sezer, who has been influential for the Rhinos in recent weeks, is also doubtful. England prop Mikolaj Oledzki is “touch and go” as he manages a shoulder injury.
England World Cup hopeful Harry Newman could be available this week after undergoing an accelerated recovery programme. Tonga international winger David Fusitu’a is also 50/50 heading into Friday’s eliminator, which is live on Sky Sports.