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Liam Moore and Chris Kendall produce brilliant response to Wigan Warriors controversy

Liam Moore and Chris Kendall in referee attire.

After Wigan Warriors won the World Club Challenge, the spotlight was immediately on Liam Moore and Chris Kendall, especially from those down under.

Those down under were furious that the two gave the decisive Jake Wardle try even though there was a suspicion that he had been held short.

Moore awarded the try on field asking Chris Kendall to review the decision and with no clear evidence to over turn, Kendall awarded the try officially.

Speaking to the media in an RFL briefing, new Head of Referees Phil Bentham went through the process:

“The immediate thing that I did was to phone Liam Moore, who confirmed that on the Wardle try, the ball is on the line when he gets there, hence he sends it up as a try, and they’ve then got to find if there’s anything wrong, any sufficient evidence to overturn that call. So it’s factual that the ball is on the line.”

He also confirmed that the process carried out by Chris Kendall was perfect: “I thought the way that Chris Kendall structured it in terms of looking at it in full speed motion, shows that it’s a wet night, it’s slippy, the defenders are pulling on the guy. I can’t see, and I think Chris used it within his communication, he didn’t see any clear evidence of a movement. So yes, there’s movement across the ground, but there’s no second movement of that arm.”

Liam Moore and Chris Kendall respond brilliantly to Wigan Warriors talking point

In the same way that there is a lot of pressure on a player after a big transfer or a bad performance, referees are always under pressure after a big 50/50 call that will inevitably divide fans.

However, Moore and Kendall rose to the occasion when a similar decision presented itself in their first games after the Wigan Warriors clash. Konrad Hurrell stormed to the line for St Helens against the Leigh Leopards and it looked certain that he had scored.

However, Moore, having seen the incident, sent it up as a no try where he was validated as Chris Kendall clearly saw on replays as the video referee that Brad Dwyer had somehow held the ball up.

For both men to be in almost the exact same situation a week on and to make one of the best decisions you will see is truly commendable.



  1. Liz Tester

    March 5, 2024 at 2:34 pm


  2. Stephen Webb

    March 6, 2024 at 8:11 am

    As a rugby league supporter I have watched Liam Moore and Chris Kendall officiate at numerous games. Whilst I do not agree with every decision, and what supporter does, I do not doubt for an instant the impartiality, integrity and honesty of our rugby league officials. They are the ones closest to the action and in the best position to rule on a try/no try situation.

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