Hudgell hits out at ‘sheer inconsistency’ of disciplinary hearings after Tomkins ban

Hull Kingston Rovers chairman Neil Hudgell has expressed his dismay at the ‘sheer inconsistency’ concerning disciplinary cases that reach a hearing after captain Joel Tomkins’ ban was upheld on Tuesday evening.

Tomkins will miss Rovers’ Challenge Cup quarter-final with Warrington on Friday after failing to overturn his one-match ban following a Grade B incident during their win over Salford at Magic Weekend.

And while Hudgell has insisted he respects the outcome of the hearing, he is less convinced about the processes behind the disciplinary panel – questioning the ‘selective justice’ regarding some cases which reach hearings, and others that do not.

In a statement, he said: “I’m very concerned when we leave Paul Cullen and his department to deliver this selective justice. There’s nothing wrong with the system, just some of the people in it. The explanation of the basis for charging is baffling and has changed over the last 24 hours giving the impression of being made up on the hoof.

“I don’t agree with the outcome of tonight’s hearing, but I respect it. What I find abhorrent is the sheer inconsistency in cases that reach a hearing. Some do and some don’t, very often without any semblance of rationale sitting behind the decisions.

“We referred to a similar incident that was lower graded, and which the panel said warranted a higher charge but that they could not use that as a benchmark from which to set Joel’s punishment. How does that not undermine integrity?

“We couldn’t refer to another similar incident as it brought no charge at all. Both were equally culpable and in several respects worse than the Joel’s in our opinion. Both will play in the Coral Challenge Cup quarter-finals this weekend but Joel will not, how is that fair and proper?”