Rugby League: Short ban for Nickle: Test player fined pounds 250

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The Independent Online
SONNY NICKLE'S escape with a one-match ban after being sent off for an elbowing offence at Headingley on Saturday has again raised the question of whether punishments for transgressions in Tests are consistent with those imposed after domestic games, writes Dave Hadfield.

A three-man panel - all of them English - also fined the St Helens forward pounds 250. The panel made the point that Nickle was being impeded by New Zealand's John Lomax, but the strong suspicion must be that he would have been punished more severely if he had done the same in a First Division match.

Nickle's sentence is one of a series of light or non-existent ones handed out for offences in internationals. It is a policy that does not convey any message that discipline in show- piece matches is, if anything, more important than in domestic games.

Britain set firm, page 38

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