Bulldogs issued with breach notice

The Canterbury Bulldogs have been informed they will lose two Telstra Premiership competition points after breaching the Replacements (Interchange) rules against Penrith on Saturday night.<br><br>A breach notice will be issued alleging the club had fourteen players on the field when the match-levelling try was scored in the final moments of the match.<br><br>“It’s a regrettable decision to have to take but the interchange process is clear and no interchange can take place without it being followed,” National Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.<br><br>The Bulldogs will have five business days to enter submissions in relation to the breach notice before the penalty is confirmed. Until then the club remains on four competition points. In any event, the Panthers will not be awarded the competition points.<br><br>A detailed viewing of the ‘eagle-cam’ video and other angles this afternoon cleared the club of suggestions of an improper interchange between Ben Roberts and Andrew Ryan in the 78th minute.<br><br>However, it showed clearly that when Michael Ennis was on the ground with an injury, Ryan (having previously left the field) re-entered from the ‘far’ touchline and rejoined play without abiding by the interchange process and with Ennis still being treated.<br><br>Ryan took a position in the attacking line during the try-scoring play with Ennis still on the field and with the Bulldogs therefore having 14 men.<br><br>“When the media first raised this matter the speculation was around the Roberts-Ryan interchange,” NRL Chief Operating Officer, Mr Graham Annesley, said today. <br><br>"This always appeared to be conducted properly but we could not confirm that until we received extra vision today.<br><br>“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. <br><br>“There are clearly fourteen men on the field when the try is scored.”<br><br>Previous instances where clubs have had first grade competition points deducted over replacement breaches: 1975 Western Suburbs; 1988 South Sydney; 1992 Gold Coast; 1993 Balmain; 1995 Auckland; 2000 North Queensland. <br><br>Brisbane was stripped of two competition points on April 14, 2004, and had them reinstated on appeal on Friday, May 21. At the time, the Appeal Committee Chairman, Sir Laurence Street, called for stricter enforcement of the Replacements (Interchange) procedures. <br><br>This led to a number of changes including the elimination of ‘cross-overs’ as players exited and entered the field and players directly handing their interchange cards to the NRL Interchange Official. <br><br>Disputed matters can be taken to The NRL Appeals Committee, which comprises a Chairman who has served or qualified as a judge, a nominee of the Rugby League Players Association and a Nominee of the Chairman of the NRL Club Council. <br>