Goulding ban eased: Rugby League

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The Independent Sport
The St Helens captain, Bobbie Goulding, has had his eight-match suspension reduced to six on appeal, but that has not mollified his club.

Goulding was given one of the heaviest sentences of recent years after being sent off for a high tackle on the Wigan prop, Neil Cowie, in the Silk Cut Challenge Cup tie between the two sides earlier this month.

His appeal yesterday was backed by his club and - in the first time the organisation has become involved in a disciplinary case - the Rugby League Professional Players' Association. Both argued that the suspension was excessive.

The reduction in his ban means he will still be ruled out of Saints' campaign to retain the Cup until the final, should they reach it. He will, however, be available for two extra rounds of Super League.

That did not placate the St Helens chairman, Eric Ashton, who said that he still regarded the sentence as "disgusting".

He complained that the ban was well above the current average for similar offences. "I've studied videos and I've seen a lot of worse tackles," he said.