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Penrith Panthers winger Taylan May will be free to play in his first finals series, after the NRL opted to hold back a two-match behavioural ban for the Penrith winger until a later date.
This means means May is free to play in Friday’s finals opener against Parramatta, just a week after being found guilty of a pub assault.
May was fined $7,500 by the NRL and ordered to undergo counselling and educational training, and will miss two matches… But not any of the important ones.
The code’s decision to dish out a lay-by two-match suspension on the young winger has been viewed as a bizarre approach from a game that is clearly trying to stamp out unbridled alcohol-fuelled violence.
However, in doing so, the NRL has allowed the Penrith Panthers to name the 21-year-old in its team for Friday’s finals opener, ending a nervous six-day wait for the Panther.
The NRL said on Tuesday it was the fairest option, given the incident had occurred last October, before the verdict was delivered on the eve of the finals.
“In proposing the timing of the match suspension, the NRL considered a number of factors including when the incident took place, the date at which the proceedings were finalised and the impact of a match suspension at this time of year,” the NRL said in a statement.
“We originally toyed with letting him sit out the first two weeks of next season. Which will probably be two meaningless matches against really shit teams like the Tigers or the Dolphins..”
“But then again, if it is the Dolphins, we’ll want every man on deck for the debut match…”
“So what we are thinking now is, we’ll push back his suspension until the end of his career. Which will likely be in 2032 in one of those shit hole League towns in Northern England”
When told by fans that this decision actually wasn’t that fair on the rest of the clubs in the final eight, the NRL said they don’t care, because they make the rules so suck it up.