Former referee suggests match-winning call went against St Helens in Challenge Cup semi-final

Over a week removed from last Saturday’s thrilling Challenge Cup semi-final encounter between St Helens and Leigh Leopards and more issues keep cropping up in terms of controversial calls.

The midweek media was dominated by talk of Leigh skipper John Asiata and his tackling technique which contributed to the season-ending injuries of Agnatius Paasi and Alex Walmsley, partly due to Paul Wellens press conference in which he called for RFL action labelling Asiata as “out of control”.

There was also some controversy surrounding the winning try for the Leopards with Zak Hardaker racing through to ground the ball, but only after Tom Briscoe had seemingly body checked Saints winger Tee Ritson which prevented the Thailander from making a play.

In yesterday’s Channel 4 match between Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards that incident was referenced by commentator and former Saints player Kyle Amor, as he compared Hardaker’s try to Jake Wardle’s disallowed try.

Wardle’s would be try happened in the first half when Tom Briscoe was eased off the ball by Wigan’s Liam Marshall, who then picked up and passed on to the centre to score from long range.

Referee Jack Smith sent the decision upstairs and on review the try was chalked off, with Marshall using his hands to ease Briscoe out of the way as the ball approached the touchline.

Speaking during the game, Channel 4 co-commentator Kyle Amor said: “I’m going to say it, to me there is very little difference between that one and the Briscoe one last week that was awarded.

“I think Wigan can count themselves unlucky there because there was not much in that and you could argue that if the one this week was awarded then this one should be too.”

Fans on social media were confused by the decision suggesting that Marshall had just been playing for the ball but former official Ian Smith took a different view.

That of course led to the inevitable question of ‘what about Hardaker’s try’, with Smith then offering his opinion on the incident from a week ago.

Of course the game is done and dusted now but it does beg the question of if Leigh were lucky and the Saints harshly done by?

Thankfully in yesterday’s game it didn’t cost Wigan as they ended up running riot and winning 44-18 to leapfrog the Leopards into second place.