Monday's Expert - 2020 NRL kickoff

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Monday's Expert is back in 2020 - each week providing a full wrap of everything happening around the rugby league traps each Monday.

Each edition will include NRL match review charges & judiciary updates, our player of the year leaderboard, crowd stats, TV ratings and injury news.

First things first...

Check out our club-by-club season previews which have been published over the last four weeks.

Brisbane | Canberra | Canterbury | Cronulla
Gold Coast | Manly | Melbourne | Newcastle
North Qld | Parramatta | Penrith | St Geo Illa
Souths | Sydney | WarriorsWests Tigers

A huge thanks to the following legends for putting hard work into these previews - Rob Crosby, Josh Robertson, Andrew Ferguson, Justin Davies, Andrew Jackson, Sam Bourke, Rick Edgerton, Adam Huxtable, Nick Bailey and Brendan Thurbon.

Footy's already begun!

The UK Super League has already been running for more than a month, with the Wigan Warriors leading the way and champions St Helens clinging to a spot in the top five, while newcomers Toronto Wolfpack are winless from six rounds.

Check out the full season results to date right here.

The NSWRL Junior Representative season is in full swing too, with Round 5 having been completed over the weekend.

Draw & results: SG Ball | Harold Matthews | Tarsha Gale

Match review

Two players were charged during NRL pre-season games in February and March.

Ryan Sutton (Canberra Raiders)

  • Grade 1 Shoulder Charge
  • 79th minute
  • on Joe Stimson (Bulldogs)
  • Base penalty 200 points
  • No prior offences last two years
  • Guilty / no contest 200 points = 2 matches
  • Early plea 150 points = 1 match
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: Suspended 1 match, 50 carryover points accrued.

Connor Tracey (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Throw
  • 7th minute
  • on Toafofoa Sipley (Sea Eagles)
  • Base penalty 100 points
  • No prior offences last two years
  • Guilty / no contest 100 points = 1 match
  • Early plea 75 points = No suspension
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: No suspension, 75 carryover points accrued.

Here's the grading table for match review charges for 2020.

Offence Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3
Tripping $1500
Kicking 200pts
Striking 200pts
Reckless High Tackle 400pts
Intentional High Tackle Referred
Careless High Tackle $1500
Dropping Knees 200pts
Dangerous Throw 100pts
Contrary Conduct $1500
Dangerous Contact 100pts
Shoulder Charge 200pts

Changes for this season include:

  • Streamlined guidelines for grading of offences have been introduced, which will see the Match Review Committee undertake an assessment of three key indicators when they decide on gradings - Force (Low/Medium/High), Conduct (Careless/Reckless/Intentional), and Risk of Injury (Low/Medium/High). Relevant mitigating or aggravating factors will also be considered.
  • Demerit point increases for Grade Two & Three Careless High Tackle charges, as well as Reckless High Tackle charges across all three Grading levels.
  • Judiciary Comparables - the number of comparable incidents that can be used in a judiciary panel hearing drops from three to one, and can only be from the prior 12 months rather than 24 months.
  • Finals matches now permit an extra monetary fine to be accrued to avoid players being suspended for minor offences.

The LU Leaderboard

At the conclusion of each match our reporters will choose their best three players from the match. You can views those points in each match in their respective match reports. Each week we'll update the leaderboard.

Sore points - injury update

A pre-season whip around the clubs and their players who look unlikely to be taking the field in the season opening round due to injury or suspension.

Alex Glenn (hamstring), Jordan Kahu (shoulder), Sean O'Sullivan, Keenan Palasia & Matt Lodge (knee)

John Bateman (shoulder), Sebastian Kris (extended sick leave), Ryan Sutton & Hudson Young (suspension)

Marcelo Montoya & Chris Smith (knee), Kieran Foran (shoulder)

Bronson Xerri (shoulder), Matt Moylan (hamstring), Josh Dugan (knee), Cameron King (ACL, season)

Gold Coast
Beau Fermor (knee), Keegan Hipgrave (concussion), Ryan James (knee, season)

Jake Trbojevic & Addin Fonua-Blake (shoulder), Taniela Paseka (ankle), Albert Hopoate (knee), Jack Gosiewski (back), Manase Fainu (stood down)

Brandon Smith (face), Christian Welch (knee)

Sione Mata'utia (knee), Bradman Best (foot)

North Queensland
Josh McGuire (knee)

Mitch Kenny (elbow), Dean Blore (shoulder), Dylan Edwards (ankle), Shawn Blore & Brayden McGrady (ACL)

St George Illawarra
Josh Kerr & Cameron McInnes (knee), Matt Dufty (cheek), Korbin Sims (arm), Jack de Belin (stood down)

South Sydney
Patrick Mago (pec)

Sydney Roosters
Billy Smith (ACL)

Gerard Beale, Nathaniel Roache (knee), Jazz Tevaga (ankle), Jackson Frei (knee, season), Bunty Afoa (ACL, season)

Wests Tigers
Moses Mbye, Jacob Liddle (knee), Russell Packer (foot)

Metrics Metrics Metrics

Each week we'll also do our best to keep you across the crowd figures and TV ratings which are often the most talked-about parts of the game.


Last year's total aggregate attendance for 2019 was 3,175,871. This was down on the 2018 aggregate attendance of ‭3,253,214‬ by 2.3%.


Where possible, we'll provide information on TV ratings as they come to hand.

Join us for Teamlist Tuesday tomorrow!

We'll be on deck from mid-afternoon this Tuesday as teamlists drop for the opening round of the NRL, as well as the range of NSWRL and QRL competitions that all kick off this weekend! Keep an eye out here for the latest!