Rugby League: Calls for discipline changes

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The Independent Online
The Rugby League Council will today be urged to look at ways of changing the sport's disciplinary procedures when it meets at The Willows, Salford.

The double champions, St Helens, have already called for the system to be altered, and the Leeds forward Barrie McDermott, recently banned for three games after being referred to the League's disciplinary committee, became the latest to press for an overhaul.

Currently, a player sent off or referred must appear before the panel who then view a video of the relevant incident before deciding whether to impose a suspension and, if so, of what length.

Saints, however, want the Council to form a working party to consider the procedure in other sports, in particular football, in which offences carry points penalties. When a player reaches a specified number of points, he gets disciplined, banned or fined automatically.

McDermott called for a points system, similar to the one in Australia, after he lost his appeal against a ban meted out for an alleged high tackle during Leeds' Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Bradford Bulls late last month, but he said: "I don't have a problem until my previous record comes out, and then the problems begin."