Why did Ryan Matterson choose to serve a suspension rather than pay a fine?

Parramatta forward Ryan Matterson has explained his reasoning behind why he elected to accept a three-match suspension rather than pay a $4,000 fine, after he was the only player cited for foul play in last weekend’s grand final.

The 27-year-old was given the option of pleading guilty and receiving a lengthy suspension for his crusher tackle on Dylan Edwards or pay a fine which he surprisingly decided to do.

Why did Ryan Matterson accept a ban rather than paying a fine?

The Eels forward revealed that he discussed his opinions with the club before choosing to serve the suspension rather than pay the fine.

The NRL changed its judiciary processes in 2022, allowing for players who committed a ‘third offence’ to dodge a suspension from a grade one charge in a finals match, if they accepted a large monetary punishment.

However, Matterson was scathing in his assessment of the situation when he spoke to reporters at Parramatta’s presentation night, where his backrow partner Shaun Lane picked up the Ken Thornett Medal for ‘Player of the Year’.

“I just feel that $4000 is pretty hefty considering I have already paid close to $4000 in fines this year for things that are absurd,” Matterson said, per AAP.

“At the end of the day I have personal things I need to worry about outside of rugby league. I just didn’t think it was warranted.

“If you do something wrong at work. They don’t take money off you.

“It’s always hard. I love playing. It’s something I spoke to the club about before I made the decision.

“Obviously it’s a hard one, but I have personal reasons I need to take into consideration.”

Should Matterson have been charged for his crusher tackle on Edwards?

Matterson defended his tackling technique on Edwards, claiming he did “nothing wrong”.

The lock then criticised the NRL’s rule-makers for constantly tinkering with the laws and interpretations of the game, which had left many players confused. 

“It’s just getting quicker and quicker and people are getting stronger and stronger – and the game keeps changing rules,” he said.

“The way Dylan went back in towards me and he kept driving his legs…I tried to let his head out, but he just kept back-pedaling. I’m not going to let him back-pedal 100 metres. So, I have to stop him.

“There wasn’t much in it. It didn’t make sense to me. At the time, I thought it was definitely a penalty. But I didn’t think it would go much further than that.”

Ryan Matterson accuses Jarome Luai of kicking out at Eels’ teammate

The Parramatta star accused Penrith five-eighth Jarome Luai of deliberately kicking Isaiah Papali’i while he was on the floor and tied up in a tackle.

“Considering Jarome Luai is kicking players and he didn’t get cited. It makes you think ‘Where is this game heading?’” Matterson said.

The bitter rivalry between the Eels and the Panthers has only served to intensify over the past week, after Penrith’s celebrations caused controversy in some quarters.

MORE: Penrith CEO defends players after they are labelled “rat mugs” during grand final celebrations 

The back-to-back premiers have been accused of displaying a lack of respect towards Parramatta after they beat them in a one-side grand final 28-12.

James Fisher-Harris refereed to the Eels as his “sons”, while the crowd present in BlueBet Stadium on the fan open day broke out chants of “we hate Parra”. 

Matterson’s comments regarding what he thought was a deliberate illegal act from Luai is the first sign Parramatta players are unhappy with their Western Sydney counterparts. 

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