Manly coach Geoff Toovey has called on rugby league's players' union to lobby for a complete shake-up of the NRL judiciary model, saying players were frustrated with the way on-field misconduct was dealt with under the present system.
The Sea Eagles trained at their North Narabeen base this morning, continuing preparations for Friday night's qualifying final against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium. The premiers will be without Steve Matai after he accepted the early guilty plea for his grade two careless high tackle charge on Canterbury's Sam Perrett, and co-captain Jamie Lyon is in doubt with a calf injury.
Toovey re-issued a call for the judiciary system to be overhauled at the team's training today. He is mystified at how the NRL match review committee arrived at a grade two high tackle charge for Matai's hit on Perrett and argues the charging procedure in general is flawed.
"It's just so subjective. I don't know how they came up with the grading," Toovey said. "I've said from day one when Tony Williams was suspended (for seven weeks) that the whole system needs to be looked at by the players' association.
Just how things are graded...it's so subjective, and to have that subjectivity in my opinion altered from case to case is very disparaging for the players.
"The players are the ones who get punished as well as the clubs. I think the players need to have their say in the system and how it's run.
"You see some of the cases that have got off with nothing this year, recently, you just shake your head. The inequality and variance between the charges is in my opinion out of whack."
Toovey believes it is up to the Rugby League Players' Association to take a stand with the competition's governing body. He believes a fining system, rather than suspensions, for minor charges may be an answer.
"I brought it up with them at the beginning of the year and throughout the year as well," he said. "It's up to them to bring it up I think and try and sort it out."
As for Lyon, the coach said the Sea Eagles could well gamble on the experienced centre given the nature of the match.
"I think with the do-or-die game that we've got you probably have to," Toovey said. "He wants to play and that's always a good sign.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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