After the Sunday games between Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Leopards, Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity and Salford Red Devils and St Helens, the thought was that focus would shift onto the Challenge Cup Final between Leigh and Hull KR but something else made headline.
By now you will have seen that Salford boss Paul Rowley called official Jack Smith “a disgrace” and the contest “a good game spoiled.”
Rowley was unhappy with a missed foot in touch from Tee Ritson and a potential missed knock on also in the build up to a key Matty Lees try.
This was a key try for the Saints as they battled back from 15-2 to win 18-15.
Rowley said on the Salford Red Devils TV: “It’s so hard. If we’d have won the game, I’d come in and say probably exactly the same thing. I thought the officials were a disgrace. I think Jack, I’ve watched him on telly, he’s been a disgrace a few times this year, one for us at Warrington at home. So three games in a row now we’ve been absolutely let down.
“So clearly Kendall and Liam Moore are the best two refs who get all the cup finals, we don’t get them too much so we must be deemed poor quality games.
“It’s kind of gloves off, I’m usually quite measured and take my time I don’t like to criticise because we’ve lost obviously, but again, I’d have said the same thing in victory.”
This of course created a lot of talk around the game but not on Salford’s recent defeats and former Sky Sports commentator Rod Studd claimed that this intentional.
“Any waffle will do to distract attention from the actual result of the match which was Salford’s 7th successive defeat. A tiresome + totally transparent tactic. Why does it go unchallenged?” he said on social media.
He added: “The coach should be criticised for tiresome attacks on referees.”
Studd has gone further and questioned why the RFL hasn’t done more to defend Smith:
“Two rejections on the twitter behaviour of *some* Salford supporters, Grown adults who can’t accept the outcome of a sports match. A- it’s what happens when the coach makes daft post match comments B – why aren’t the RFL as keen as me to protect the reputation of their officials?”
According to BBC Sport Rowley will face the compliance board for the comments.