Rugby League: Saint Martyn not sinner in Cup tie

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The Independent Online
TOMMY MARTYN, the St Helens stand-off, has been cleared to face Wigan in the quarter-final of the Silk Cut Challenge Cup, despite being placed on report for a suspected high tackle in the victory over Warrington in the last round.

The Rugby League's management committee decided that Martyn, scorer of two tries in Saints' Wembley win over Bradford last May, had no case to answer after studying the video of the incident.

Wigan police have blocked plans to screen the tie on Saturday 14 March, because Wigan Athletic are at home to Oldham Athletic that day. The match will now be the live television match on BBC2 the following day, with Castleford's meeting with Sheffield the choice for Saturday afternoon - the third round in a row that Castleford, supposedly one of the game's unfashionable clubs, will have been televised.

The British Amateur Rugby League Association (Barla) celebrates its silver jubilee today. Set up in 1973 because of neglect by the professional game, Barla has presided over a growth from 125 teams to around 1,300 today.

Barla will be marking that achievement - and its recent rapprochement with the Rugby League - at a gala dinner on Friday. "We will be celebrating those achievements, whilst recognising that plenty of work still needs to be done," said Barla's chief executive, Maurice Oldroyd.

The League has commissioned a study into the optimum pitch conditions for playing the game in summer.

"We hope to design the safest possible playing surface for summer rugby, one which reduces the risk of injury to players whilst playing or training," said the League's acting chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe.