Wigan Warriors were beaten by Hull KR at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium in a pulsating Challenge Cup semi-final.
The game was defined by a red card for Joe Shorrocks after the start of the second half.
Shorrock wanted to make an impact as a substitute. He hit Mikey Lewis hard but caught the stand in fullback’s chin with his shoulder.
The incident was looked at by the video referee and a red card was shown.
Many, including Matt Peet and others, have questioned the decision suggesting that a yellow card would have been more appropriate.
However, former official Ian Smith has dismissed these suggestions.
He said on social media: “His head rocks back on contact so it is direct and your argument is a valid one, he doesn’t slip though were you would have more of an argument. The onus is on the defender not to hit high.”
Sadly this was a major talking point that clouded a pulsating affair in the wet. The Robins could have been forgiven for feeling hard done by when Ryan Hall pulled out of the side late before kick-off but they stood up to early pressure before a delightful scrum move saw Louis Senior slide in at the corner.
Hall’s injury saw Mikey Lewis moved to fullback and Ethan Ryan moved to the wing. Lewis showed his worth with amazing footwork to confuse the Wigan chasers when they looked to trap him in goal.
Hull KR had the better of the first half but they were behind when Jai Field was given enough space to weave through and score in the corner.
Up against it at this point in the game, Shaun Kenny-Dowall turned the game when he intercepted but sadly he couldn’t go the distance but the Robins were now building pressure.
After absorbing a spell of pressure themselves, Wigan went down field and nailed a penalty to make it 8-4.
As aforementioned, the Warriors have now added to their lead after a second penalty from Harry Smith, his third goal of the game to give them a 10-4 lead which was cancelled out by an Ethan Ryan try.
A deserved win for Hull KR and a special performance from the Robins in a brilliant semi-final, there is no getting away from the red card as the game’s big moment in the contest.