After Leigh Leopards and Hull KR served up a classic Challenge Cup Final yesterday, there was an awful lot of focus on former Leeds Rhinos man Elliot Minchella.
He had a whirlwind of a first half. He gave away the first points of the game with a penalty after he took exception to a John Asiata tackle.
He then created the first try of the game as he carved through and found Jez Litten in support to score.
But he then made wanted history with the first Challenge Cup Final yellow card since 2001.
Many have questioned the decision but others have also suggested he was lucky to avoid a red card given there was possible contact with the head made by his elbow.
But the comments of Chris Kendall show that this wasn’t considered by the officials: “There’s no attempt to wrap and it’s late contact. You’re in the bin.”
All told, it was a great game as Hull KR struck first. Elliot Minchella gave away that penalty but immediately made amends as he broke through and found Jez Litten in support to score.
A Tom Briscoe error nearly led to a Tom Opacic try as the ball was kicked ahead. Opacic was then tripped up by Lachlan Lam who went for the ball but it was deemed an accident and no penalty try was given.
Leigh then said anything you can do we can do better as Kai O’Donnell broke through in similar fashion finding Lachlan Lam in support to score.
Minchella’s strange day kept going as he was penalised for a hit on Ben Reynolds and the Leopards took a 10-6 lead as Hull KR went down to 12 men.
Hull KR then nailed a penalty of their own on the stroke of halftime to make it 10-8.
The second half started as the first one ended with a Hull KR penalty as Hull KR drew level at 10-all.
It was then a very tense second half as neither side gave each other an inch. Try scoring sensation Josh Charnley had a chance when he got the ball wide but was held up.
Tom Briscoe scores tries at Wembley like it’s his backyard. Today was his eighth Challenge Cup Final try in his fifth final appearance and his eighth in the last four. He struck a decisive blow in the corner for the Leopards after a sweeping move.
But that try was cancelled out when Parcell touched down to score in the 79th minute after a kick bounced off Zak Hardaker.
However, in the end it was Leigh who will lift the Challenge Cup after a golden point drop goal from Lachlan Lam won the game for the club.