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“A bit of a joke” – How Castleford Tigers’ boss reacted to controversial Cam Smith ban

Leeds Rhinos’ captain Cam Smith was controversially handed a ban for ‘dangerous contact’ on kicker Danny Richardson in the Rhinos win over Castleford Tigers and now Tigers’ boss Craig Lingard has labelled the decision as “a bit of a joke”.

News of the ban came on Monday when the Match Review Panel released their findings with Smith handed a one-match ban for the Grade B offence, something that shocked fans and forced the Rhinos to appeal.

When confirming their appeal, Leeds Rhinos shared footage of the incident online which saw dozens of fans comment on how soft the decision was and it seems that even the opposing coach Craig Lingard believed so too.

Leeds Rhinos were successful at tribunal with Smith’s charge downgraded and a fine administered instead of a ban but Lingard was asked about the incident during his press conference.

He explained:  “I thought it was a bit of a joke that he got banned in the first place, to be fair. For me, I’m speaking from my own personal opinion, if we’re banning people for that, then we need to have a look at it, don’t we?

“I don’t think there were any malice in it, I don’t think there were any intent in it, there certainly weren’t any force in it as well. If you look at that and we’re sitting people down for a week or two for something like that, I think we need to give it a bit of a shake.”

“Common sense has prevailed” – Castleford Tigers boss comments on Super League disciplinary drama

Castleford Tigers were perhaps the first side to truly fall victim to the controversial new application of the laws surrounding head-on-head contact with veteran Liam Watts sent off and banned for four matches for his tackle in Round One.

Nu Brown’s Round Two red card appeared to be the straw that broke the camel’s back with the RFL releasing a statement admitting that laws were being incorrectly applied and that has seen a dramatic reduction in red card offences.

There have still been several bans though and one was handed to Leeds Rhinos’ Justin Sangare for head-on-head contact with Joe Westerman and again the Castleford Tigers’ boss Craig Lingard was asked to comment on the Frenchman’s one-game ban.

Lingard responded: “It’s head-on head contact and it’s the new interpretations of the law, that’s something we’re going to have to get used to. We were told about at the start of the season.

“If that happens in week one, it probably gets a red card. Where we are now, I think we all admitted that week one, we went a little bit over the top and then we’ve pulled back on that a little bit. So, yeah, no issues with that whatsoever.

“If it was week one then I think he’d be sat down for at least ten minutes but I think common sense has prevailed in respect to the decisions now on the field.”

The incident in question wasn’t even deemed a penalty on field with Westerman ordered to play the ball and resume player after a lengthy video review of the incident.

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