Hull KR players criticised for treatment of Chris Kendall

In the first Challenge Cup Final without Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens since 1986, Leigh Leopards and Hull KR met in a dramatic and at times fiery Challenge Cup Final.

Controversy reared its head three minutes into the game when John Asiata made a low tackle.

In light of his tackles against St Helens in the semi-finals which injured four players, Elliot Minchella took exception to it and Hull KR players put Chris Kendall under pressure to penalise Asiata.

But instead he penalised the Robins and that led to Leigh taking a 2-0 lead.

Speaking on BBC Radio Humberside, Paul Cooke praised Kendall for how he handled the situation and critical of Hull KR.

He said: “I think it’s a really good idea for Rugby League to look at [yellow cards for berating referees] because I can’t stand it.

“Mikel Arteta got a yellow card in the Community Shield for asking for a Man City player to be booked, and I think that’s creeping into our game too where players behind tackles are waving their arms at referees and I just think that you’re trying to, not con the referee into something, but trying to force him into a decision.

“I was quite happy that Kendall turned around and penalised Hull KR for that because if there’s one thing you do know about Chris Kendall, and we’ve had this conversation with the Josh Griffin stuff, you can’t speak to him and you can’t berate at him.

“The other thing with Asiata is he never received any punishment for the tackle technique he has which injured Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi in the semi-final.

“So if he goes in with that technique and you run in, there’s nothing illegal in what he’s done because the game’s not punished him.

“I just think the emotion of that scenario where the players run in you’ve got to be able to separate that emotion and think about it logically if that I’d have spoken about that pregame because if Asiata does do that and you run in there’s nothing illegal in it so you can’t run in.

“For them to run in on the very first set of six that they have the football and and then the penalty gets turned around that to me is just mind-boggling because it’s not it’s not being punished in previous games.”