NRL Judiciary denies McKinnon right to appeal

The National Rugby League has announced that New Zealand Warriors will not be allowed to appeal a three-match ban handed to fullback Wade McKinnon for spitting.

The Warriors sought leave to appeal today but NRL judiciary chairman Greg Woods rejected the request.

On Wednesday night, the three-man panel of Royce Ayliffe, Darren Britt and Bob Lindner took almost 50 minutes to find McKinnon guilty of spitting towards touch judge Brett Suttor. McKinnon was charged following an incident last weekend when he was placed on report by referee Ben Cummins.

McKinnon became the first player in NRL history to be suspended for spitting at a match official.

NRL prosecutor Peter Kite had earlier recommended a ban of between nine and 11 matches for what he described as a "reprehensible" act.

McKinnon will now miss the Warriors must-win clash against the Parramatta Eels this Saturday night.

In other judiciary news, Canberra Raiders forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs season is over after also being denied an appeal.

Learoyd-Lahrs was issued with a seven-match suspension two weeks ago for a dangerous throw on Newcastle's Ben Cross.

Manly Sea Eagles centre Steve Matai will also be sidelined after being slapped with a one-match ban for a high shot on the Gold Coast Titans centre Brett Delaney last Monday night.

Matai was originally given an 84-point penalty, but this was later increased to 112 points after it was revealed the NRL had forgotten to include loading from Matai's send-off in the Test between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington last October.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Knights hooker Matt Hilder last night escaped punishment after being found not guilty of deliberately spitting on Melbourne Storm winger Anthony Quinn last weekend.