As Hull KR and Leigh Leopards meet at Wembley stadium in the Challenge Cup Final a common talking point has again emerged that has dominated Super League over the last few years and prompted the use of green cards to try and limit it.
This is the notion of “milking” a penalty by staying on the ground after contact.
It was suggested that this was again the case as Elliot Minchella was sin binned for a late hit on Ben Reynolds at Wembley today.
Speaking on BBC, Jonathon Davies slammed players for being “pathetic” and trying to get opponents sent off.
“I think that is a little harsh. I can understand they are trying to protect the player but there was no malice in that. They should just get on with the game,” he said.
“It’s getting a little pathetic now, players trying to get other players sent off. Just get on with the game.
“This is a Challenge Cup Final, players work their socks off to get into this position and the referee then goes and does that.
“For me that is very unlucky, the elbow was there, he didn’t lead with it though. I think that is harsh.
“Yes it is clumsy, the ref said there was no wrapping of the arm, but that’s a big call. The coach won’t be happy but this is a big 10 minutes now.”
The Leopards had started strongly making in roads through the middle of Hull KR’s defence and winning a penalty after a high tackle from Rhys Kennedy on Tom Amone.
Hull KR withstood the pressure from the Leopards and as they came away from their own end John Asiata dived at a Hull KR players’ legs to effect a tackle.
Elliot Minchella took except to the incident and started a minor scrap with plenty of pushing and shoving.
Hull KR were penalised and Ben Reynolds kicked the goal to make it 2-0.
Asiata’s tackle technique has been under major scrutiny lately after the semi-final win over St Helens.
That day Asiata injured four St Helens stars with low tackles. Morgan Knowles suffered a knock, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook was out for nearly a month and the seasons of Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi were ended.
Paul Wellens said that Paasi’s knee was “blown to smithereens” as he did his MCL, ACL and ankle ligaments.
Jon Wilkin said these low tackles were “incredibly dangerous” on social media. Meanwhile, Paul Wellens would late say “he’s out of control” and would slam the RFL for not protecting his players.
He has been referred to the compliance board as consequence but there has been a lot of focus on Asiata since and it was that which led to Minchella.
Some may suggest the tackle should have been punished. But what did official Chris Kendall have to say:
“There’s nothing illegal about the tackle technique,” he could be heard on BBC.
“The incident is caused when Elliot Minchella runs over and starts pushing so it’s a penalty against you [Hull KR.]”
Hull KR responded to this early controversy with a try. Minchella was the man that made it with a break up the middle and the try was finished off by Jez Litten in support going under the sticks.
Brad Schneider’s conversion made it 6-2 to the Robins. It so far has been a nervy but very good Challenge Cup Final.