Monday's Expert - 2020 NRL Round 1

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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...

Our Round 1 wrap of the NRL results can be found easily here.

Results sheets for all competitions across NSWRL and QRL are here.

Match reports for NRL matches are here.

A huge thanks to the following legends for putting hard work into our weekly previews and live blogs of NRL games - Rob Crosby, Josh Robertson, Justin Davies, Andrew Jackson, Adam Huxtable and Hamish Parker.


Going viral

Look, Coronavirus is a scary thing. We get it.

That's why we've got rolling of coverage of what it means for the NRL and rugby league in general.

As events unfold, keep across it here.


Match review

Twelve players have been charged across the first three days of the opening round.

Blake Ferguson (Eels)

  • Grade 1 Tripping
  • 54th minute
  • on Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Bulldogs)
  • Base penalty $1500 fine
  • No prior offences last two years
  • Guilty / no contest $1500 fine
  • Early plea $1150 fine
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: $1150 fine

Christian Crichton (Bulldogs)

  • Grade 1 Careless High Tackle
  • 39th minute
  • on Maika Sivo (Eels)
  • Base penalty $1500 fine
  • No prior offences last two years
  • Guilty / no contest $1500 fine
  • Early plea $1150 fine
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: $1150 fine

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Bulldogs)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Contact (head/neck)
  • 25th minute
  • on Reed Mahoney (Eels)
  • 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.

Anthony Milford (Broncos)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Contact (other)
  • 10th minute
  • on Jake Granville (Cowboys)
  • Base penalty 100 points
  • One non-similar prior offence (20% loading)
  • Guilty / no contest 120 points = 1 match
  • Early plea 90 points = no suspension
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: No suspension. 90 carryover points accrued.

Tevita Pangai Junior (Broncos)

  • Grade 2 Dangerous Contact (head/neck)
  • 2nd minute
  • on Justin O'Neill (Cowboys)
  • Base penalty 300 points
  • One similar prior offence (50% loading)
    Two non-similar prior offences (20% loading each)
    Total loading 90%
  • 50 carryover points to add
  • Guilty / no contest 570+50=620 points = 6 matches
  • Early plea 427+50=477 points = 4 matches
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: Suspended 4 matches. 77 carryover points accrued.

Jack Hetherington (Panthers)

  • Grade 2 Careless High Tackle
  • 50th minute
  • on James Tedesco (Roosters)
  • Base penalty 200 points
  • One non-similar prior offence (20% loading)
  • 20 carryover points to add
  • Guilty / no contest 240+20=260 points = 2 matches
  • Early plea 180+20=200 points = 2 matches
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: Suspended 2 matches. No carryover points accrued.

Braidon Burns (Rabbitohs)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Throw
  • 68th minute
  • on Jesse Ramien (Sharks)
  • 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.

Jack Williams (Sharks)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Contact (head/neck)
  • 1st minute
  • on Cameron Murray (Rabbitohs)
  • 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.

Tariq Sims (Dragons)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Contact (head/neck)
  • 76th minute
  • on Josh Reynolds (Wests Tigers)
  • Base penalty 100 points
  • One similar prior offence (50% loading)
  • Guilty / no contest 150 points = 1 match
  • Early plea 112 points = 1 match
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: Suspended 1 match. 12 carryover points accrued.

Paul Vaughan (Dragons)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Contact (head/neck)
  • 29th minute
  • on Luke Garner (Wests Tigers)
  • Base penalty 100 points
  • No prior offences last two years
  • Guilty / no contest 100 points = 1 match
  • Early plea 75 points = No supension
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: No suspension. 75 carryover points accrued.

Sean Keppie (Sea Eagles)

  • Grade 1 Dangerous Throw
  • 30th minute
  • on Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (Storm)
  • Base penalty 100 points
  • One non-similar prior offence (20% loading)
  • Guilty / no contest 120+5=125 points = 1 match
  • Early plea 90+5=95 points = No suspension
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: No suspension. 95 carryover points accrued.

Suliasi Vunivalu (Storm)

  • Grade 1 Contrary Conduct
  • 21st minute
  • on Dylan Walker (Sea Eagles)
  • Base penalty $1500 fine
  • Two non-similar prior offences (20% loading each = 40%)
  • Guilty / no contest $2100 fine
  • Early plea $1600 fine
  • PLEA: Guilty - early plea
  • OUTCOME: $1600 fine.

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

Offence Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3
Tripping $1500
200pts
300pts
Kicking 200pts
300pts
400pts
Striking 200pts
300pts
400pts
Reckless High Tackle 400pts
500pts
600pts
Intentional High Tackle Referred
Referred
Referred
Careless High Tackle $1500
200pts
300pts
Dropping Knees 200pts
300pts
400pts
Dangerous Throw 100pts
300pts
500pts
Contrary Conduct $1500
200pts
300pts
Dangerous Contact 100pts
300pts
500pts
Shoulder Charge 200pts
350pts
500pts

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.

3 points - Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), Isaah Yeo (Panthers), Cameron Smith (Storm), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Jamayne Isaako (Broncos), Mitchell Pearce (Knights), Jack Wighton (Raiders), Mitchell Moses (Eels)

2 points - Jahrome Hughes (Storm), Viliame Kikau (Panthers), David Nofoaluma (Wests Tigers), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Bulldogs), Shaun Johnson (Sharks), Emre Guler (Raiders), Kalyn Ponga (Knights), David Fifita (Broncos)

1 point - Alex Twal (Wests Tigers), Daniel Saifiti (Knights), Reed Mahoney (Eels), Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), James Tedesco (Roosters), Ethan Lowe (Rabbitohs), Phillip Sami (Titans), Tevita Pangai Junior (Broncos)


Sore points - injury update

Injury news to come out of Round 1...

Jack Bird (BRI) - ACL - season

Luke Brooks (WST) - calf - one month

Mikaele Ravalawa (SGI) - thigh - TBC

Dale Finucane (MEL) - head knock - monitored

Matt Moylan (CRO) - calf - one month

Ronaldo Mulitalo - concussion - monitored

Angus Crichton (SYD) - illness - TBC

Matt Ikuvalu (SYD) - concussion - monitored

Sitili Tupouniua (SYD) - knee - scans

Zane Tetevano (PEN) - knee - scans

Viliame Kikau (PEN) - shoulder - monitored


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.

Attendance
Match Day / Time Venue Crowd
Eels v Bulldogs Thu 8:05pm
Bankwest
21363
Raiders v Titans Fri 6pm
GIO
10610
Cowboys v Broncos Fri 8:05pm
QCBS
22459
Knights v Warriors Sat 3pm
McDonald Jones
10239
Rabbitohs v Sharks Sat 5:30pm
ANZ
6235
Panthers v Roosters Sat 7:35pm
Panthers
10160
Sea Eagles v Storm
Sun 4:05pm
Lottoland
10315
Dragons v Wests Tigers Sun 6:15pm
WIN
9137
TOTAL

100518
AVERAGE

12565
Ratings
Match Day / Time Fox Nine Combined
Eels v Bulldogs Thu 8:05pm
242K
633K
M 319K
R 242K
875K
Raiders v Titans Fri 6pm
155K
-
155K
Cowboys v Broncos Fri 8:05pm
254K
714K
M 433K
R 281K
968K
Knights v Warriors Sat 3pm
151K
-
151K
Rabbitohs v Sharks Sat 5:30pm
238K
-
238K
Panthers v Roosters Sat 7:35pm
247K
-
247K
Sea Eagles v Storm
Sun 4:05pm
235K
314K
M 314K
R N/A
549K
Dragons v Wests Tigers Sun 6:15pm
217K
-
217K
TOTAL
1.74M
1.66M
3.4M

Stay safe.

As we mentioned earlier, we'll do everything we can to keep you informed about Coronavirus and how it'll impact the NRL and rugby league.

For now - we hope you and your family and friends are safe and well and remain that way as we face these uncertain times.