Castleford Tigers boss Lee Radford admits Liam Watts needs big change

If there has been one major focal point in 2022 it has been that of the disciplinary.

A whole host of bans have been dished out this season in what has been an increasing clampdown as the RFL attempts to alleviate the number of injuries in the sport.

And, one of those players that has been on the wrong side of the law too many times has been Castleford Tigers forward Liam Watts.

The former Hull FC star has been banned for a FIFTH time following last weekend’s loss to St Helens in which Watts was handed a yellow card for a late tackle.

For his current head coach Lee Radford, he knows that the Match Review Panel isn’t going to alter their stance any time soon.

“Whether he likes it or not, the Match Review Panel aren’t going to change, they will be in their job longer than I am in mine so some adaptation has to be made at this end and that is something we will continue to work in for him to be on the field more next year,” Radford said to BBC Radio Leeds.

When asked if Watts needs to change with the rules, Radford admitted: “Yeah you want your blokes on the field, particular the high end players on the field as much as possible.

“If it’s not injury it’s usually discipline-related but the game has changed.”

The Castleford boss was also keen to stress just how difficult the new rule is to get on board with.

“The way in tackling when the ball has left the hand has changed this year. It was 0.3 of a second previously and the argument is how can you pull out when you have to react quick but now it’s when the ball has left the grasp completely.

“You try and change muscle memory which is difficult but it won’t be through lack of trying.”

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