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Jon Wilkin slams “soft” Hull FC star after defeat

Jon Wilkin Hull FC

Hull FC lost to Hull KR in a fiery Super League season opener that yielded two red cards and two yellow cards throughout the eighty minutes.

The first yellow of the match went to Hull FC debutant Herman Ese’ese for a high tackle were mitigating factors stopped it from being a red.

Then, things got worse for the Black and Whites when Franklin Pele was sent off, also on debut. He made a huge impact on Elliot Minchella but then hit him in the head with a swinging arm.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Jon Wilkin branded the action as “soft” and “unforgiveable.”

He said: “Well this is the red card of the 2024 season and it would have been in 1974 right this is the red card. It’s reckless, it’s soft, it’s a soft play and I’m talking, I’m not talking about toughness as in a mentally, I’m talking mentally weak decision from a guy who’s frustrated with his own performance. The speed of the game has got him and he’s lashed out. Unforgivable.”

Interestingly, former Leeds Rhinos player Ryan Bailey claimed the incident should have been overlooked and current Wakefield Trinity player Iain Thornley echoed this sentiment.

Wilkin says a third Hull FC red should have been shown

Hull FC v Hull KR Picture by Olly Hassell/ – 15/02/2024 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Hull FC v Hull KR – MKM Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England – Referee Liam Moore showing Hull FC s Franklin Pele the red card Copyright: x xSWpix.comxt/axPhotographyxHubxLtdxOllyxHassell/SWpix.comx SWP-2364-0030

Later in the game, Hull KR star Matt Parcell was sin binned for grabbing Ligi Sao around the face which prompted knees to the head from Sao to Parcell which saw him sent off.

However, in the mind of Wilkin he should have been the third player sent off for Hull as he believed Ese’ese should have seen red for his high tackle rather than yellow:

“The framework for me is simple. Was it forceful? Yes or no? And did he change direction? I don’t think there’s much mitigation. For me, on the pre-season, I think that’s lucky to be a yellow and not a red, from what I’ve heard from the referees.”

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