Enough is enough, the rugby league judiciary process needs an overhaul this coming off-season.
It has to be the first order of business, Sam Verrills last night getting a two-game ban for what was deemed a grade-two careless high tackle was a joke in my opinion.
It was basically argued that Verrills had failed in the duty of care as a defender, but please, watch the tackle again in normal speed. What did he do wrong?
Then, look at the Junior Paulo tackle from Parramatta, that incurred just a grade-one charge from Sunday’s game against the Knights. You can throw the match review committee into the end of season overhaul as well.
But wait, there’s more, if what Sam Verrills did really is a two-game ban offence, why would the referee not sin-bin him during the game? Why would the bunker believe he shouldn’t be binned?
The system is stuffed, it is absolutely stuffed.
In my opinion, across all levels – you know my stance against carry-over points and loading, that part of the system has zero support from me – keep it simple, if a tackle deserves a one-game ban, that’s what it should get.
If it goes to the judiciary, and the challenge is unsuccessful, it is still a one-game ban.
Why do we have a system in a sport, that has to mirror the courts and judicial process in society? These are not crimes, these are indiscretions on a football field.
In a court of law, one of the motivations for an early plea system is to reduce stress on victims. How does that apply to rugby league or sport?
Another motivation for early plea discounts in society is swifter justice for the community. Reduce time and money wasted on the resources of the police, the courts and lawyers.
In the courts, that thinking is driven by the fact that cases can go for days, weeks, even months.
That doesn’t apply to rugby league. The logic should not apply week by week in a sport like rugby league where the cases can be heard via video link, the incidents in question are caught on film, with multiple angles, and the cases never go for more than a few hours.
Discounts for early pleas, give me a break, Kane Evans last week and Josh McGuire, they took the early plea because they were blatantly guilty, there should be no reward for that.
Making the penalty harsher if you challenge a charge and fail, well that is just not right in sport, and isn’t a premise that should be enforced in sport or rugby league in this case.
I only hope we can get few the next few weeks without any judiciary or match review committee controversy.
Come post Grand Final, blow the whole damn system up.