Exclusive: Ex-Super League referee Ian Smith gives verdict on Luke Gale’s ban and what fans can expect in 2022

There has been much deliberation in the past week or so about the ban handed to Hull FC halfback Luke Gale.

Gale was given a five-match suspension by the Disciplinary Match Review Panel after catching St Helens’ Jonny Lomax on his leg with his studs.

The Hull halfback was then cited for attempting to pull Lomax back to his feet with the Disciplinary Panel taking a dim view of the incidents.

Gale will sit out the next five games and now former Super League referee Ian Smith has given his verdict on the ban.

“In previous years it would have been harsh, Smith told Serious About Rugby League.

“But this season we will see – and already have seen – longer bans than we would have done in the past.”

Smith also believes that clubs and players will now have to alter the way they go about their tackling technique, whilst emphasising that referees and the RFL will need to maintain this consistency going forward.

“I would imagine (that the RFL will continue down this path) so otherwise they will be accused of inconsistency.

“I’m sure now the players will moderate their behaviour so they don’t get suspended going forward.”

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