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Liam Watts hints at statement after controversial ban upheld

Liam Watts was among a number of players to learn their disciplinary fate at the Operational Rules Tribunal meeting last night and upon receiving a four-game ban he’s hinted at releasing a statement on his thoughts.

The week so far has been one where there’s a rising sense of player power with fans siding with players over several issues, namely the excessive number of cards handed out in round one.

Round One saw four red cards and nine sin bins as the new stricter rules surrounding head contact were implemented in a competitive Super League game for the first time.

The season opener arguably set the town with two yellows and two reds shown in the Hull derby but both red card offences have seen light sentencing it could be argued.

Ligi Sao saw red for ‘contact with the head’ when he kicked out at Matt Parcell in the wrestle on the ground and whilst he was initially handed a three-game ban, the Hull FC man successfully appealed and saw that downgraded to just one game.

As for Franklin Pele who had seen red for a swinging arm to the head in the first half, he was unsuccessful in his appeal but saw his Grade E charge land him just a three-game ban.

What is interesting is that the sentencing guidelines for a Grade E offence are four to six matches with many fans expecting the offence to register on the high end of that scale.

Instead, Pele was banned for three games and handed a £750 fine whereas Castleford Tigers’ Liam Watts copped a four-game ban for his high tackle on Tyler Dupree.

“Incoming shortly” – Liam Watts hints at statement regarding controversial ban

Liam Watts was sent his marching orders as Castleford Tigers hosted Wigan Warriors in the opening round of Super League.

With Franklin Pele being hit with a three-game ban and Liam Watts being served with four matches on the sidelines, the discourse on social media asked how a malicious swinging arm was punished less severely than poor tackle technique.

Many fans were interested to hear exactly what Liam Watts would be thinking and it seems that we could be set to learn that very quickly.

Journalist Matt Shaw reacted to the news of Pele’s ban being just three games with the statement: “A penny for Liam Watts’ thoughts.”

Watts responded ominously within 15 minutes with two words: “Incoming shortly.”

That could well hint at a statement released personally by himself through his social media channels, or he could opt for the route that St Helens’ star Alex Walmsley did.

Earlier in the week Walmsley shared his thoughts on the interpretation of the new laws and how severely they had been implemented with an open letter published by Rugby League Live.

It garnered immense support from players and fans alike and should Liam Watts follow in Walmsley’s footsteps then he would undoubtedly receive similar support.

One issue could be that the Tigers forward may well land himself in more trouble with criticism of the RFL seeing both Paul Wellens and Paul Rowley fined last season.

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