Yesterday, the Yorkshire Evening Post revealed that Leeds Rhinos were again set to appeal Harry Newman’s ban.
The explosive centre received a two-match penalty notice for aggressive behaviour towards Tom Grant in a frustrating game at the Totally Wicked Stadium for Leeds.
The Rhinos lost 42-12 to St Helens despite a superb Newman try and a number of 50/50 calls went against the Rhinos including a controversial try for Regan Grace.
That certainly doesn’t excuse Newman’s behaviour however when interacting with Tom Grant and I think most Leeds fans expected him to receive a ban.
Two games may have seemed a little harsh and it became harsher still when Leeds chose to appeal – which in itself seemed ill-advised – only for him to receive an extra game due to it being deemed a ‘frivolous’ appeal just like the appeal of James Bentley’s ban earlier this season.
However, Leeds are now appealing the third game hoping to have Newman back for the trip to Toulouse which would be vitally important for the Rhinos with Zak Hardaker – who has replaced Newman at right centre in recent weeks – a major doubt due to a thigh injury.
Leeds’ overall squad is also thread bare especially now that Matt Prior has picked up a ban for a late shot on Danny Richardson.
Many expected the verdict of this appeal to be revealed last night as is often the case but when Leeds Rhinos News approached the RFL they revealed that it should be today but could be pushed back till tomorrow depending on the volume of appeals to be heard tonight.
So it could be a long day or two for Newman and Leeds fans.
A reward with no risk
It is believed that this time no further games can be added to the ban, so there is no risk in Leeds’ doing it and it could deliver a sizable reward should the Rhinos be successful as it would bring back a key player when they need him most.