MANLY coach Geoff Toovey has called on rugby league's players' union to lobby for a complete shake-up of the NRL judiciary model, saying players were frustrated with the way on-field misconduct was dealt with under the present system.
The Sea Eagles trained at their North Narrabeen base yesterday as they prepared for Friday night's qualifying final against North Queensland at Allianz Stadium. The premiers will be without Steve Matai after he accepted the early guilty plea for his grade-two careless high tackle charge.
Toovey reissued a call for the judiciary system to be overhauled. He is mystified at how the match review committee arrived at a grade-two high tackle charge for Matai's hit on Canterbury's Sam Perrett, arguing the charging procedure is flawed.
''It's just so subjective,'' Toovey said. ''I don't know how they came up with the grading.
''I've said from day one when Tony Williams was suspended [for seven weeks] that the whole system needs to be looked at by the players' association.
''Just how things are graded … it's so subjective, and to have that subjectivity, in my opinion, altered from case to case is very disparaging for the players. The players are the ones who get punished as well as the clubs. I think the players need to have their say in the system and how it's run.''
Toovey believes it is up to the Rugby League Players' Association to take a stand with the NRL. He believes a fining system, rather than suspensions, for minor charges may be an answer.
''I brought it up with them at the beginning of the year and throughout the year as well,'' he said. ''It's up to them to bring it up I think and try and sort it out.''
RLPA chief executive David Garnsey said he was happy to talk to Toovey about the issue.
''Geoff spoke to me earlier in the year about his concerns about the grading system and subsequently I had a meeting with the NRL where I put forward some ideas about greater transparency in that regard,''he said.