NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo invoked his power for the match review committee to consider their charges before Josh Reynolds was cited for Sunday’s outburst at officials.
Reynolds has been hit with a grade-one contrary conduct charge after his halftime abuse of referee Grant Atkins in Canterbury’s win over St George Illawarra.
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The Canterbury fan favourite was also sanctioned for dangerous contact on Tyrell Sloan in the lead-up to his exchange with Atkins and can accept a $1000 fine for each incident.
However, Reynolds contrary conduct charge only appeared after a second meeting of the match review committee before the charge sheet dropped later than usual on a Monday.
AAP has been told that Abdo asked the committee to reconsider a decision not to sanction Reynolds at first, after he yelled “bull****” at Atkins moments after he was penalised for the shot on Sloan.
Abdo’s decision to step in marks the first time he or any member of the ARL Commission have used their power to refer matters for further inspection after it was introduced last March.
The rule was used by Newcastle earlier this year when they wanted an Isaiah Papali’i hit on Jack Johns sent for further review.
“There is a process under the judiciary rules that allows the board and CEO of a club or game to ask for the match review committee to further review an incident,” NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.
“That is a normal part of our process and has been used in the past. It comes down to making sure things don’t fall through the cracks.”
Annesley would not comment on whether Reynolds should have been sin-binned, given it the Bulldogs veteran could challenge the fine.
But he said on-field decisions around dissent was at the discretion of the referee.
“It is up to match officials to determine if they find that offensive or not, and for the game to determine if it is appropriate,” Annesley said.
“That will depend entirely on what is said in what context, and whether those principles apply or not.”
Even if Reynolds is to challenge the charges, he will not face a ban and would instead have each fine increase to $1500.
All other players charged from Sunday’s matches can accept fines, while Manly prop Toff Sipley and North Queensland second-rower Jeremiah Nanai have taken their respective three and four-match bans for incidents earlier in the round.
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