AAP Rugby

Dragons want NRLW judiciary change

By AAP Newswire

NSW State of Origin captain Kezie Apps wants the NRLW's judiciary system changed after a three-game ban ended St George Illawarra teammate Teuila Fotu-Moala's season.

Fotu-Moala this week became the first woman suspended by the NRL, hit with a grade-two charge for a crusher tackle in the Dragons' opening-round loss to Brisbane.

The NRLW carries the same judicial points system to the men's game, despite the three-week regular season being one-eighth the length of the NRL.

It means the Kiwi star's season is now effectively over after just one game, with the ban set to possibly extend into the international calendar.

"It is totally unfair, the guys might get a three-match ban but they've got another 20-something rounds they can play," Apps said on Wednesday.

"Where that's our season gone.

"I thought it would be slightly different because our competition is only three weeks.

"I feel it should be different and looked at a little bit different in that respect."

The Dragons are upset over the decision, with the criticism coming at the same time the men's judiciary code is under significant fire from players.

AAP understands the women's issue was raised in a meeting between the NRL and club officials in July, with at least two of the four clubs raising concerns.

No changes were however made to the points system, with the NRL's head of football Graham Annesley conceding this week it may be addressed.

However he stressed that the code was based on the seriousness of an incident, not the impact any ban may have on the offender.

The NRL also noted that bans can extend across different competitions, with the women's season containing longer state competitions and representative periods.

The Dragons meanwhile were further frustrated that they could not use any comparable offences to help their case for a downgrade, as men's incidents cannot form precedence.

"I'm also baffled how it can compare to the boys' and girls' games, but you can't compare the incident," Dragons coach Daniel Lacey said.

"We say that we want to go down the girls' path, we want 'the same game our way', but it's the same way for the boys' game. They're different.

"They're different competitions. You've got to look at the severity of the charge and the severity of the punishment. It's very severe."