JAMES FORD has spoken out about the match review panel's decision regarding the Dan Parker tackle that knocked out Liam Harris - saying they were right not to charge the Newcastle winger if the referee did not see it and footage was "unclear".

Playmaker Harris was left doubtful for York City Knights' League One play-off at Whitehaven on Sunday by the challenge, which saw him groggily depart last week's Super 8s match.

Head coach Ford initially did not comment but, after speaking to the disciplinary panel, believes they took the "right approach" by not guessing about Parker's potential guilt.

His comments, however, may be a thinly veiled criticism of the MRP's decision to ban Ash Robson for the last six matches for alleged spitting - even though the referee didn't see that nor was there any footage. Either way, it is unlikely the irony was lost on him.

"He can only call what he sees," said Ford of last week's referee John McMullen, who takes charge of Sunday's semi-final too.

"I wouldn't want an official to send someone off unless he's seen an offence. If you haven't seen anything or you're not sure, you can't send someone off or ban them.

"If all referees stuck to that and if all review panels stuck to that - don't make up bans if there's no evidence - it would be a more consistent approach and I think coaches would be less frustrated and the game would move forward."

He added: "I spoke to them (MRP) at length and they highlighted what processes they go through.

"They read the written evidence from the officials and there was no written evidence of a late high shot because the official didn't see it.

"They thought the camera (footage) was not overly clear and they didn't want to guess. That's the right approach to take.

"I saw it live and my opinion has not changed (that it deserved a red card and a ban), but they didn't and they can't make up evidence."

On McMullen, Ford added: "Let's hope he has a good game this weekend - he will need to if Whitehaven use similar tactics as last time.

"You had fellas on the floor constantly trying to milk penalties. That's not rugby league, constantly trying to get help from the referee because you're penned it or you're tired. People don't pay to watch that.

"A good Whitehaven side coached by the best coach in the competition shouldn't need to do that."