The NRL say it’s only fair to extend Penrith winger Taylan May’s ban for a tackle to next year and allow him to play the Finals with the Panthers.
May can play Parramatta in Friday night’s Penrith qualifying final, although the NRL take on the 21-year-old on Tuesday.
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A little less than a week after she was found guilty of assaulting a Queensland pub, May was fined $3,750 by the NRL and ordered to undergo immediate counseling and reconnaissance.
However, the NRL has ruled that his punishment can wait on the field, pointing to the fact that the incident happened last October, while May’s trial only began last week.
“In proposing the timing of the suspension, the NRL considered a number of factors, including the timing of the incident, the date the proceedings were completed and the implications of a suspension at this time of year,” the NRL said in a statement.
May was with team-mates when he dragged a man to the ground in a Sunshine Coast pub after Penrith’s Premiership celebrations last October.
After May fought the charges, she was found guilty of assault causing assault in Maroochydore Magistrates Court, but no conviction was recorded.
The news is a massive boost for the Panthers, who were hoping to field the powerful winger on the left flank on Friday night.
With Nathan Cleary also returning from a five-game suspension for his dangerous throw against Dylan Brown, the Panthers are back at full strength at the right time of the season.
In theory, that puts the club well ahead of last year’s Premiership win when they entered the final battered and injured with injuries to several key stars.
“We’re definitely healthier than last year,” said co-captain Isaah Yeo.
“It probably only became clear after the final how much everyone was struggling. But it was difficult to get a consistent team on the pitch just for training.
“That’s not the case this year, which is nice. But every final is different, there will be different challenges.”
The club also have the biggest advantage in the first week, with almost all players having a 14-day turnaround after being rested for Round 25.
However, the Panthers’ players have increased the number of training sessions, with Cleary fitting back into their structure as part of a two-week preparation for the finals.
“The fact that I didn’t have to worry about injuries on the last lap was the greatest thing. We had two of these last year,” Yeo said.
“And then as a player it’s more of a mental refresher than a physical one.
“You’re still training hard and probably doing extra sessions, but mentally you don’t have to worry about getting up for that moment.”
https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/why-the-nrl-is-allowing-penrith-winger-taylan-may-to-play-finals-despite-ban-for-assault-c-8138145 NRL Finals news: Why the NRL is allowing Penrith winger Taylan May to play in the finals despite being banned for assault