Bulldogs lose appeal application

The President of the NRL Appeals Committee, Sir Laurence Street, has dismissed an application from the Canterbury Bulldogs for Leave to Appeal the NRL’s decision to strip the club of two competition points.<br><br>The points were deducted following the Bulldogs’ Round 2 match against Penrith during which the club was found to have breached the NRL Replacements (Interchange) rules by fielding fourteen men at the time the match-winning try was scored in the 78th minute.<br><br><br>In refusing to grant Leave Sir Laurence said:<br><br><i>This Application for Leave to Appeal falls within a small compass although I recognise that the outcome is of great importance to the Bulldogs. The Application has been well and thoroughly argued by Senior Counsel for the Bulldogs and the NRL but in my view an Appeal to the Tribunal does not have good prospects of success and it follows that Leave to Appeal must be refused.<br><br>The undisputed fact is that the Bulldogs had 14 players on the field when they scored the winning try.&nbsp; The presence of the 14th player was due to an error by a Bulldogs Official.&nbsp; The prohibition against 14 players is clear and specific and a Club that breaches the Rule must expect to receive a significant penalty.&nbsp; The Chief Executive dealt with the matter carefully and appropriately. &nbsp;<br><br>The penalty of loss of two points, won at a stage when the Club was in breach, was well within the scope of the Chief Executive’s discretion and I do not consider that the Appeal would have good prospects of success. &nbsp;<br><br>My decision is that the Application is dismissed.<br><br>Laurence Street<br><br>President of NRL Appeals Tribunal</i><br><br>&nbsp;<br>NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today that, given the scope of legal submissions which required adjudication, clubs needed to rethink their attitudes towards the appeals process.<br><br>“This has been drawn out more than it should and I think there is a real danger of clubs becoming ‘over lawyered’ in their approach to appeals,” he said.<br><br>“We provide an appeal process so that clubs can test whether our decisions are within the scope of our rules, without having to go to the expense and the time delays of the court system.<br><br>“Unless we have acted outside the rules those decisions should stand and survive any challenge. That is what has happened with this decision. That is why leave is difficult to get.<br><br>“In this case the club made a bad error and left us with no alternative but to take the points."