Bulldogs fan favourite Josh Reynolds has apologised for his outburst at referee Grant Atkins following NRL CEO Andrew Abdo using his power to step-in and call for the match review committee to reconsider their decision. Reynolds has been hit with a grade-one contrary conduct charge after his words directed towards referee Grant Atkins in Canterbury's win over the Dragons.
He was also charged for dangerous contact on Tyrell Sloan in the lead-up to his exchange with Atkins and can accept a $1,000 fine for each incident. However, controversy erupted when NRL boss Abdo intervened in the match review committee process regarding the referee incident with Reynolds.
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AAP has been told that Abdo asked the committee to reconsider a decision not to sanction Reynolds at first, after he yelled "bull***t" at Atkins moments after he was penalised for the shot on Sloan. Abdo's decision to step in marks the first time he or any member of the ARL Commission have used their power to refer matters for further inspection after it was introduced last March.
Since his charge, Reynolds has fronted the media and apologised for his comments on Tuesday. Reynolds is a huge fan favourite at the Bulldogs, which saw him play 138 games at the club from 2011-2017.
And the 34-year-old, in the twilight of his career, admitted he wanted to be seen as a role model for the fans. "I'm really sorry for all the kids that had to hear that," he said on Sky Sports Radio's Big Sports Radio. "It's obviously not a great look."
"I love being a role model for the young kids. But I am a passionate person. I care about the result, every battle and every single play I am in.
"Go away! I'm not speaking to you for the rest of the game."
The referee was NOT having it with Josh Reynolds! 😡
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"Costing my team a penalty like that kills me. Hopefully people can understand I was fairly riled up. I’ll be honest and say that I wish I chose my wording a bit better. I really do mean that. 100 per cent.
“To clear everything up, it wasn’t an actual personal attack on the ref. It wasn’t about him at all. It was more about the situation.
“I’m sure people can understand that, in the heat of battle, as a player, I’m allowed to ask a question and I’m allowed to have an opinion on that call. It was a great win and I felt really good out there personally so it takes the shine off the win.”
Josh Reynolds escapes sin-bin over referee outburst
Josh Reynolds wasn't sin-binned for his outburst, which saw Atkins tell him off. "I beg your pardon, come here," Atkins said.
"Don't say a word, if this bloke speaks to me again...he is going to the bin."
NRL Head of Football Graham Annessley was questioned why Reynolds didn't spend time in the bin, but claimed it was up to the on-field referee to make that call."It is up to match officials to determine if they find that offensive or not, and for the game to determine if it is appropriate," Annesley said. "That will depend entirely on what is said in what context, and whether those principles apply or not."
Even if Reynolds is to challenge the charges, he will not face a ban and would instead have each fine increase to $1500.
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