Leeds Rhinos news: Match review panel verdicts announced ahead of Grand Final against St Helens

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Leeds Rhinos will have no players suspended for Saturday’s Betfred Super League Grand Final, but opponents St Helens are set to be without a key man.

The RFL’s match review panel took no action against any Leeds players over incidents in last Friday’s semi-final win at Wigan Warriors, but Saints had two charged and one cautioned from their defeat of Salford Red Devils.

Saints’ appeal against a two-match penalty notice issued to forward Morgan Knowles after he was accused of grade B dangerous contact will be heard by a tribunal on Tuesday. Knowles was sin-binned following the incident during last Saturday’s tie.

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Teammate Jack Welsby was charged with a grade A high tackle, but received a zero-match penalty notice.

St Helens' Morgan Knowles. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.St Helens' Morgan Knowles. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.
St Helens' Morgan Knowles. Picture by Ed Sykes/SWpix.com.

It is his second grade A offence this season, following a dangerous contact charge in July, but his clean record over the previous 24 months made him eligible for the zero-match penalty on both occasions.

The Grand Final will see Rhinos welcome back second-rower Rhyse Martin who missed two matches after being charged with a grade A high tackle in the final round of the league season, earlier this month.

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Martin’s ban was doubled, from one game to two, after Leeds’ appeal was deemed frivolous. He also served a one-match ban in August, following his second charge inside 12 months.

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Jack Welsby. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Jack Welsby. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Jack Welsby. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Though the circumstances seem similar, both players having two grade A charges for identical offences this term, Martin’s record of at least two earlier incidents of misconduct within the previous 24 months meant - unlike Welsby - he was not eligible for a zero-game notice on either occasion.

Saints hooker James Roby received a caution for dangerous contact, but also escaped a ban for the final.

Wigan forward John Bateman, who was sent-off for a high tackle which has ruled Leeds’ Aidan Sezer out of the title decider, was charged with grade D striking and will face a hearing on Tuesday.

Other charges issued by the panel were: Danny Kirmond (York City Knights, grade B dangerous contact) - one-match penalty notice; Joel Farrell (Sheffield Eagles, grade B dangerous contact) - two-matches; Brandon Douglas (Sheffield Eagles, grade A disputes decision) - zero matches; Keelan Foster (Doncaster, grade B dangerous contact) - one match.