Ian Watson claims ban was for something that “can’t be seen”

Huddersfield Giants take on Hull FC this weekend in a game that doesn’t mean anything to either side with both firmly out of the play off race.

A defeat to Leeds Rhinos killed Hull FC’s hopes and Huddersfield lost to Hull KR and Leigh Leopards to unravel their play off hopes.

But despite this being a dead rubber between the two, Ian Watson has still expressed his unhappiness at a ban for Luke Yates.

He even questioned whether it was seen: “They’re saying something that they can see which we can’t see and everybody else kind of can’t see to be fair. But look, it’s one of them things, they’re paid to do a job and to highlight certain things and to protect players and I get that.

“I’d probably say from our side we’ve not challenged anything where we thought it wasn’t justified. I mean we didn’t go and challenge the Jack Ashworth one because we thought that was just a rush of blood and in the heat of the moment thing and yeah Jack got it wrong so we’ve not challenged.

“We’ve not challenged all year to be fair on issues as we’ve generally agreed with things but with the Luke Yates one, we totally disagreed with why they brought him up and why they put him up on there on a dangerous contact charge.

“It was kind of beyond me a little bit and to label it reckless as well, when you’ve got a player who’s played, what, 23 games this year, he’s made the most tackles in Super League, he’s made 980 tackles and he’s only been penalised nine times in all of those tackles.

“I think three of them were for offside, so that brings it down to six and then there was two penalties for hands in on kind of on the rook. Well, there’s five of them straight away. So there’s actually only four penalties he’s given away that have actually maybe involved contact.

“For a player to do that was making 980 tackles and as an opportunity to maybe win the kind of the hit man of the year award yeah it’s a shame it’s kind of come to that but yeah I think it proves he’s not a reckless player and that he generally makes good judgment in and around his contact.

“So we felt obviously appealing his situation, the history he’s got and what he’s shown in terms of all them games could have potentially been enough to kind of get it overthrown, but they’ve seen it differently. So it is what it is.”

How Luke reacted

“No, no, he’s devastated. He wanted it to go further, he wasn’t happy with certain things on it. He plays the game tough and aggressive, which everybody knows, but everyone’s watched Luke Yates play over the last three four years will know that Luke Yates isn’t a reckless player and that he generally has good good control of his contacts when he’s going in there.

“So yeah he’s devastated he can’t play. I think it probably, it robs him of an opportunity a little bit really to, to what, he’s worked really hard for us this year mate and led from the front in terms of a captain in what’s been a difficult year for us. And he’s always stood tall.

“It would have been nice for him to have maybe got some recognition, hopefully he still does for the work that he’s put in, that he still gets recognised for that because I think everyone knows through the game of rugby league he isn’t a reckless player.”