BATLEY Bulldogs forward James Brown has been banned from playing in the Heavy Woollen derby against Dewsbury.
Brown received a two-match ban for striking Ben Johnston in Batley’s match against Halifax two weeks ago, but saw it extended to three matches after an unsuccessful appeal.
Batley assistant coach Danny Maun said: “Obviously the RFL have got their ideas and perceptions of how things should be played, but I think you’ve got a panel where some of them have probably not played the game and are probably looking at it from the outside and have probably seen something different.
“James went into the tackle trying to make a tackle and I think he’s just caught the top of his head and it’s just unfortunate. It wasn’t anything malicious.
“He’s not that type of player. He plays tough, that’s all, and I just don’t see anything in that decision to get a ban, but the RFL probably see it differently.”
But Maun was keen to emphasise that the Bulldogs had adequate cover in Brown’s absence.
“It’s a shame, because he was playing quite well after his broken thumb, but everyone else is coming back fit,” he said.
“Lillycrop played last week and he looked good to say he’s been out for that length of time.
“All our middles are back now: Alex Rowe, (Michael) Ward, (Adam) Gledhill, Lillycrop and we’ve obviously got Tom Holland to come in there.
“We’ve got some good options in there and with Patch (Walker) and Dom (Brambani) coming back in it looks even stronger for us.
Brambani could return in time for Sunday’s visit from full-time Leigh Centurions.
The Centurions sit just one place above Batley in the Championship table, despite 10 points separating the two clubs.