Super League trio fined after criticising RFL match review panel

Wakefield chief executive Michael Carter

Wakefield’s Michael Carter, Leeds’ Richard Agar and Catalans’ Alex Chan have been fined for criticising the decisions of the Rugby Football League’s match review panel.

Trinity chief executive Carter issued a statement on July 14 following the panel’s decision to charge three players from the Wakefield-St Helens Super League match five days earlier.

One of the players, Saints second rower Sione Mata’utia, was forced to miss the Challenge Cup final after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle.

Carter described the citings as “random charges” based on “one nameless person’s opinion on a Monday morning”.

He also claimed it was futile challenging the decisions because “it’s impossible to win an appeal unless you’ve enough evidence to free Ronnie Biggs”.

He was fined £2,000, with £750 suspended until the end of the 2022 season, while Leeds coach Agar was fined £1,000, half of it suspended until end of the 2021 campaign, and Chan was given a £500 fine, suspended until the end of the campaign.

The RFL says all three were found guilty of breaching its operational rules and the Respect Policy but have a right of appeal.

A statement said: “The RFL works constantly with clubs on the efficacy of the game’s disciplinary procedures. Those procedures include the right of appeal, and the opportunity for internal feedback.”

Meanwhile, promotion and relegation to and from Super League is still set to go ahead at the end of the season.

There has been some conjecture over whether the goal posts will once again be moved, including an erroneous report by the BBC on their live Challenge Cup final coverage that relegation will not take place this year.

But officials from the RFL and Super League have confirmed to us that there have been no formal discussions around removing relegation.

An RFL spokesperson said: “There is no change – it’s still one up, one down.

“There has been acknowledgement from Super League, and an emphasis from us, that Championship clubs can’t be blamed (for the impact of COVID) and that promotion can’t be affected.”


  1. There has been a number of questionable decisions by match officials over the years. If these official aren’t challenged then they carry on with impunity. If a club captain or club representative challenges the match officials decision or the rfl they are deemed to be bringing the sport into disrepute. Sometimes any of these ify match officials decisions mean that a game might be won or lost resulting in the loss of a match or a loss of a player which might give the other side an unfair advantage. It could even present a relegation situation again resulting in untold financial losses to player and club. It surely means that if the match officials or rfl can’t be held to account then it is the rfl that is bringing the wonderful game of rugby into disrepute.

    • Just who do the RFL think they are ? If a challenge is respectful and objective how can it possibly be deemed as bringing the sport into disrepute?? The only thing doing that is the RFL themselves – they are are a joke.

    • Agreed. The RFL is not fit for purpose. There are smaller sports with much higher international profiles. The relationship with North America is ridiculously incompetent.

      No SL franchise in Cumbria.

      The treatment of the Amateur game that is the lifeblood of the game.

      The prejudice against the RU Code that has produced so many of our greatest players.

  2. There is no consistency in refs .some decisions seem to be biased to star teams.refs seem to be more concerned with being the star man on the field
    Ru refs are miles better.

  3. The match review panel are the ones bringing the game into disrepute Luke Gale given a 2 game ban for accidental contact on a match official Oliver Partington throws 10 punches mostly to the head of a Leigh player. 3 matches you’re nothing short of a set of imbeciles ruining the game.

  4. The last try for Hull kr against Leigh should have been disallowed for offside. Why did the video ref not see this? It is clear the ball kicker didn’t play those who were in front of him back onside again.

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