The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) is facing further consequences after the Maroons were found to have 14 players on the field during the opening game of the State of Origin match at Adelaide Oval. The NRL issued a breach notice to the QRL, citing a breach of NRL rules during the first half of the May 31 match that the Maroons ultimately won 26-18. According to the NRL statement, the Maroons had an extra player on the field for 30 seconds during the 18th minute of play. As a result, the QRL faces a proposed fine of $30,000.
The incident reportedly occurred following an injury to Maroons player Tom Gilbert, who suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to be taken off the field. Lindsay Collins then entered the field of play to replace Gilbert, but Gilbert did not leave the field, resulting in both players being on the field at the same time. Referee Ashley Klein subsequently awarded NSW a penalty after spotting that Queensland had an extra man on the ground.
The QRL now has five business days to respond to the breach notice.
The incident has caused quite a stir in the rugby world, with many fans questioning how a team of professionals could make such a basic mistake. The scrutiny is particularly intense given that the State of Origin is one of Australia’s most significant sporting events, and the Maroons are one of the country’s most successful rugby league teams.
The fine for having an extra player on the field might seem relatively small, but it is worth noting that the NRL has been clamping down on breaches of its rules in recent years, and the QRL will undoubtedly be keen to avoid any further repercussions.
The Maroons are set to take on NSW in the second game of the State of Origin series on Sunday night, and they will be hoping to put the extra-man incident behind them and focus on securing another win. However, the pressure will be on to avoid any further mistakes and prove to fans and critics alike that they are still a force to be reckoned with.