Wigan Warriors and Hull KR have seen what Leigh Leopards and St Helens served up yesterday and tried to replicate it this afternoon at the home of Leeds Rhinos – Headingley Stadium,
It has been like a horror movie. The pressure makes you want to look away but you can’t help but keep your eyes glued to the pitch.
It has been a physical clash too which we sadly saw the wrong side of when Joe Shorrocks was sent off for a high tackle on Mikey Lewis which appeared to catch Lewis on the chin which is why Ben Thaler instructed Liam Moore to brandish the red card.
But what did the pundits have to say in the matter?
Well Robbie Hunter-Paul initially felt it wasn’t that bad: “It didn’t look bad, I’ll say that, it didn’t look bad from up here.
“Back in your day Nobby [Brian Noble] that was a great, nice, clean hit but there is contact with the head there.
“Personally I think the initial contact is with the chest.
Brian Noble himself said: “I think the shoulder has hit his head, that’s contact with the head and whether he decides to put him in the bin or not then I’m not sure.
“I don’t know where your chest begins, not with the chin.”
After hearing this Robbie Hunter-Paul changed his tune: “Yeah, actually that is a shoulder on his chin.”
The game has been 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.
That Ethan Ryan try tied the game up and it remained that way until the final whistle.
With the game tied at 10-10 it went to golden point and at that point the effect of Shorrock’s red card paid dividends with not enough kick pressure to prevent Hull KR’s new star Brad Schneider from kicking a 40 metre drop goal to send Rovers to Wembley, courtesy of an 11-10 win.