Bulldogs set to lose NRL points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs set to lose NRL points

23/03/2009 09:04:04 PM Comments (0)

The Bulldogs will exhaust all options in a bid to appeal the severity of the NRL's decision to strip the club of two competition points for having 14 players on the field when they snatched victory from Penrith last Saturday.

The NRL issued the Bulldogs with a breach notice on Monday alleging the club had 14 players on the field when Ben Roberts, the last replacement to come on, scored the match-levelling try in the 78th minute.

Winger Hazem El Masri then booted the winning conversion to give the Bulldogs a 26-24 victory and move top of the NRL table.

Roberts was cleared of any wrongdoing in his interchange with skipper Andrew Ryan, the captain instead found to be the 14th man culprit.

Eagle view cameras showed Ryan re-enter the field of play from the far touchline at the request of a trainer as hooker Michael Ennis was being treated for injury.

The second-rower took his position in the attacking line during the try-scoring play with Ennis still on the field.

Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg said the club accepted the NRL's decision but would look at appealing the severity of the penalty.

"We've viewed the footage with the NRL and accept that we had 14 players on the field for a short period of time," said Greenberg in a statement.

"We are now considering our ability to appeal the decision to deduct the Bulldogs of two competition points.

"The loss of points is an extreme punishment and the club will investigate all options to appeal the breach notice."

It is the first time since 2000 that an NRL club has been stripped of points for having too many players on the field.

North Queensland were the last club to have points deducted in 2000, while previous instances were Western Suburbs (1975), South Sydney (1988), Gold Coast (1992), Balmain (1993) and Auckland (1995).

Brisbane were stripped of two points in April 2004, but had them re-instated on appeal a month later.

The Bulldogs have five business days to appeal the breach notice, until then they will remain on four competition points.

Regardless of the outcome the Panthers, who were leading the game before the Bulldogs scored with 14 men on the field, will not get awarded the victory or competition points.

Panthers chief executive Michael Leary said the club would accept that decision.

"I just think at that time of the game, I don't think it had any bearing on the result," Leary said.

"We'll just take it as it is.

"In history gone by if a side loses the two points, you don't get the two points anyway."

NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said it was clear Ryan was on the field when he shouldn't have been.

"When the media first raised this matter the speculation was around the Roberts-Ryan interchange," Annesley said.

"This always appeared to be conducted properly but we could not confirm that until we received extra vision today.

"In the process, however, it became clear that after Andrew Ryan left the field on the far side and was walking away from the play, he then appeared to be called back on by a trainer.

"There are clearly fourteen men on the field when the try is scored."

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