Leeds Rhinos: Salford appeal decision means we all know where we stand - Carl Ablett

Carl Ablett
Carl Ablett
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AS much as it’s not the result they wanted, it must be good for Salford Red Devils to now know where they stand with their points appeal.

They lost their bid to have the six-point deduction overturned yesterday and so that stands.

For the team, it must have been so hard to lose those points initially in April.

They’d been playing so well and had improved out of sight so to have them taken away must have been so tough for the players and coaching staff.

Obviously, it’s not the players who are guilty of anything so you do feel for them.

But at least now they can put it behind them and move on.

They must have been sick about talking about it for so long and at least they now know a line can be drawn through it all.

Salford tried to fight it and argue their case and it was good that an independent body oversaw their appeal as opposed to the RFL.

That should prevent any uncertainty from some who may doubt the ruling.

Obviously, Marwan Koukash, the Salford owner, has come out and admitted he didn’t declare some payments to players rather than breaking the actual cap.

But the RFL had their case, saw it through and have now seen it upheld by the independent Sports Resolutions so – as tough as it may seem on Salford – those are the rules and they have been broken.

All clubs have to abide by them so, if they don’t, they have to be punished.

At least now Salford can crack on with their season.

It’s good for the other teams around them in the table as well who must have been worried they might get caught if Salford did get six points back – Castleford, Wakefield and Widnes could all have got dragged back into that fight to avoid the bottom four.

I’ve said before I’m not really a fan of the whole salary cap idea.

I don’t see the benefits of it. I know they do it to try and create a more even competition but capping players’ salaries just doesn’t seem right.

Telling clubs what they can spend doesn’t sit easy with me and there has to be a better way of doing it. I do feel there has to be a review into the whole salary cap issue and the effect it is having on the game.

Personally, it was great to get back into action on Sunday.

Obviously, it was not the result we wanted but to get a fair few minutes under my belt after so long out was great for me.

There was some nerves beforehand but I settled back in okay and I thought our performance actually was pretty good for 60 minutes.

But it’s the story of our season – not being good enough at the end.

We lacked composure and control in those last 20 minutes and they eventually got that drop goal having scored two tries.

The last 10 minutes typified our season; we were a bit all over the shop.

We go to Hull now knowing they’ll be expecting a reaction after losing their first game in 11 matches. But we’re just concentrating on making our own improvements which we know we have to do.

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