Wakefield anger directed towards RFL

Coach Chris Chester joined forces with chief executive Michael Carter in Wakefield’s double-barrelled blast at the RFL’s disciplinary chiefs last week.

The pair were frustrated by bans for fullback Ryan Hampshire and centre Joe Arundel, which kept them out of Friday’s 24-14 Super League defeat at Salford.

Both received one-match suspensions for dangerous contact during the 30-14 home defeat by St Helens, with Hampshire’s punishment particularly contested.

Saints forward Sione Mata’utia was also handed a controversial ban from the same game, which ruled him out of the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

In a no-holds-barred statement, Carter claimed: “In the eight years I’ve been in charge, I think I’ve only appealed two charges.

“That’s because it’s impossible to win an appeal unless you’ve enough evidence to free Ronnie Biggs.

“Three people sit there, two of them not saying anything, with no experience of the modern game, an inability to take any sort of mitigation into account, and an overriding ability to just say ‘guilty’.

“It’s just pointless appealing. They just support the match review panel.”

A glut of injuries and the impact of Covid restrictions has made things difficult for coaches across the game.

And Chester said: “I’m all for cracking down on late hits, but Rocky Hampshire made contact with Jonny Lomax less than a quarter of a second after he had passed the ball.

“If it had been a frontrow forward, I don’t think we’d have been having a conversation.

“I thought we had a real strong case, but with the judiciary, you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent. That’s just how it works.

“I’m really disappointed at what’s gone on, to be honest. Things are hard enough as it is.

“The way the game is, the way the teams are struggling to get players out on the pitch,

“I just think the game is in a mess at the moment.

“We’ve not heard from the chief executive of RFL or the Chairman of Super League. What’s gone on over the last three or four weeks is just not acceptable.

“I think there’s a distinct lack of leadership, and I really feel for the game moving forward.”

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