Penrith cops big fine and suspension for trainer breach
A trainer for NRL preliminary finalists Penrith is facing a ban for the rest of the season and the club a $25,000 fine following an alleged breach of the rules in last weekend’s semi-final.
An NRL breach notice alleges the Panthers’ “orange” trainer stopped play incorrectly in the 76th minute of Saturday night’s final against the Parramatta Eels.
With the game in the balance in the last five minutes, the Eels were hopeful of scoring a winning try after making a break downfield.
Penrith’s Mitch Kenny went down with an ankle injury after becoming entangled in a tackle on Parramatta’s Reagan Campbell-Gillard.
The pause in play allowed Kenny to come off and for the Panthers to bring Tevita Pangai Jr onto the field to ensure it was 13 on 13.
Penrith trainer Pete Green wasn’t on the field when he requested play be stopped.
The NRL’s manual makes it clear that a head trainer can only stop play after making an initial assessment that circumstances require a doctor to enter the field of play.
It was the second time Green has been implicated in a controversial stoppage after a similar incident in the Panthers’ Round 14 clash against Cronulla.
As a result, the NRL confirmed on Tuesday the Panthers have been hit with a $25,000 breach notice, while Green has been suspended from accessing the field of play and sideline for the rest of the year.
The NRL has also issued a warning to fellow trainer Hayden Knowles.
The Panthers will be permitted to use an alternative staff member in the orange trainer role for the remainder of the season to ensure the welfare of Panthers players.
The Panthers have five business days to respond to the breach notice.
A provisional suspension applies until Penrith’s response has been received.
It was the third time the Panthers had stopped play during the tense finals clash, with Eels coach Brad Arthur criticising the number of pauses, particularly when his side had the ascendancy.
“We’re trying to make the game faster – how many stoppages were there when we started to get on top,” Arthur said.
Originally published as Penrith cops big fine and suspension for trainer breach
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