12 Aug 2015

Matulino cops three-match ban

11:31 am on 12 August 2015

Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden has expressed disappointment over a shoulder charge offence which has resulted in prop Ben Matulino being suspended for three games.

The club took an early guilty plea on Matulino's grade two charge for a tackle on St George Illawarra standoff Gareth Widdop, in the 36th minute of Saturday night's 22nd-round NRL encounter in Wellington.

Ben Matulino has copped a thee match ban for a shoulder charge.

Ben Matulino's three-match ban for a shoulder charge is out of proportion, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden thinks. Photo: Photosport

Had the Warriors contested the charge and lost, Matulino would have faced a five-game ban.

McFadden said they accepted and understood what the NRL is trying to do in working to eliminate the shoulder charge from the game.

The coach said with the way the rules were now around shoulder charges they had no option but to enter an early plea in this case.

He said however, their issue was that in this instance the charge and punishment did not fit the crime and it was out of proportion to the outcome of the tackle.

McFadden said Gareth Widdop was knocked over but he got up, played the ball and saw out the game - there was no contact with the head and no injury was caused, yet Matulino now has to miss three games.

He added that on the other hand, there was a tackle in the previous round where a player was knocked out and still couldn't play last week, yet the player charged with the tackle didn't miss a game.

McFadden said the NRL needed to cater for inconsistencies like this.

He called for the NRL to use the 'sin bin', as in rugby union, for cases like these, and said it had eradicated the shoulder charge out of rugby union, which was exactly what they hoped for in rugby league.

The Warriors will be without Matulino for their next three games against Penrith, North Queensland and Wests Tigers, before being available for the final regular season match against Canterbury-Bankstown.

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