BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Ryan Matterson of the Eels reacts to the loss after the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium on October 03, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Parramatta Eels back-rower Ryan Matterson has bucked a recent trend by opting to serve a three-match suspension rather than pay a $4,000 fine for a crusher tackle made in the grand final.

According to PerthNow, Matterson's decision means he will now miss the opening games of the season, despite not knowing who the Eels will be facing in those games until the 2023 draw is unveiled.

It seems a strange decision given the design of the current penalty system and the availability of a payable fine.

The call comes after what was Matterson's third charge at the judiciary, handed out following a crusher tackle made on Clive Churchill medalist Dylan Edwards in the first half of the Eels' 28-12 grand final defeat.  It was the only charge to emerge from the contest.

Matterson was otherwise superb in the contest despite a lacklustre performance from his team overall.

Despite being one again moved to the bench at the last minute for Marata Niukore, Matterson hit the ground running with 146 attacking metres from a team-high 20 runs, 44 tackles and three offloads in 62 minutes.

Though he finished the year in superb form, he will be unable to write off his ban in the World Cup after failing to be selected for Mal Meninga's 24-man squad.