Controversy erupts over NRL star's two-second reserve grade cameo

The Bulldogs have sparked debate after playing regular first-grader Rhyse Martin in reserve grade for two seconds on Sunday.

Canterbury stretched the rules when the goal-kicking back-rower ran straight from the field after the kick-off during their NSW Cup side’s 42-28 win over North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

Martin was off the field before the Bears had even caught the ball and then ran on for the club’s NRL clash with the Warriors a few hours later.

The cheeky tactic means Martin will now be allowed to turn out for Canterbury in the NSW Cup finals after only needing one more appearance to qualify.

Rhyse Martin lasted two seconds. Image: NSWRL

A NSWRL spokesperson said the Bulldogs had not broken any rules and the governing body would not stand in their way if Martin wanted to turn out in the NSW Cup finals.

However many were left questioning whether the ploy was against the integrity of the game.

Martin has this year established himself as an NRL star of the future and was last month signed to a one-year contract extension.

While the Bulldogs’ NRL side have been out of the running for months, their seconds are positioned for a top-four finish.

Rhyse Martin of the Bulldogs is tackled during the round 23 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the New Zealand Warriors. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Under NSWRL rules, players can only turn out for their club in the state league finals if they play eight reserve grade matches during the year.

Before this week, Martin had played seven games and only one since making his NRL debut in round nine.

The Bulldogs’ ploy left them with just three men on the bench for the rest of Sunday’s NSW Cup game.

with AAP