Parramatta Eels back-rower Ryan Matterson has spoken publicly about his decision to accept a three-match suspension rather than pay a $4000 fine after he was charged by the match review committee for a tackle in the grand final.
The decision seemed strange to those on the outside, with the fine constituting just 0.66% of his salary, as per the Sydney Morning Herald.
The grade one offence occurred early in the first half of the contest, when Matterson made a tackle on eventual Clive Churchill Medalist Dylan Edwards.
“I just feel $4000 is pretty hefty considering I've already paid nearly $4000 in fines already this year for things that are absurd,” Matterson told the Herald.
“At the end of the day I've got personal things to worry about outside of rugby league. I just didn't think it was warranted.
“If you do something wrong at work, they don't take money off you.
“At the end of the day, I didn't do anything wrong. I'm playing rugby league, it's getting quicker and quicker and people are getting stronger and stronger – and the game keeps changing the rules.
“The fines need to go.”
Matterson also expressed surprise that Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai escaped sanction despite appearing to lash out at an Eels player with his foot at one point.
“It didn't make sense to me,” Matterson continued.
“At the time I thought it was definitely a penalty, but I didn't think it would go much further than that.
“To be honest, the way Dylan (Edwards) back in towards me and kept driving his legs, I tried to get his head out.
“He just kept backpedalling – I'm not going to let him go 100 metres, so I had to stop him. There wasn't much in it. It was the typical look of a crusher tackle but there was no pressure involved.
“To be honest, four weeks (had he appealed and lost) for that incident itself is blown way out of proportion.
"Considering Jarome Luai is kicking players and he didn't get cited, it makes you think where is this game heading?
“You've got to have more consistency. There are a lot of things being swept under the carpet.
“It's something I spoke to the club about before I made the decision. Obviously it's a hard one, but I have personal reasons I need to take into consideration.”
UPDATE: Luai has since 'responded' to Matterson's comparison, sharing an image of the quotes related to him with three sad emojis - as per Fox Sports.
Panthers star Jarome Luai has responded after Eels forward Ryan Matterson called him out 👀
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) October 5, 2022