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Melee erupts in Challenge Cup semi-final as Hull KR are hammered

Challenge Cup

It’s been a torrid afternoon for Hull KR as their hopes of a second consecutive Challenge Cup Final have dwindled away and the game has taken an ugly turn with a mass brawl after an altercation including centre Tom Opacic.

The Robins’ hopes of returning to Wembley suffered an early blow when Jake Wardle crossed over after just four minutes and from that point onwards, it spiralled downwards.

Hull KR were trailing 24-0 at halftime and that first half had seen Willie Peters spout off towards the match officials per reports from the BBC’s Tanya Arnold. The Australian had reportedly stormed down from the coaching box to have words with the fourth official.

The frustration continued in the second half though and boiled over onto the field and the Hull KR players and that’s now seen a minor melee break out that has resulted in two sin bins.

Challenge Cup: Australian centres both sent to the bin as Hull KR collapse

Rowan Milnes, Louis Senior and Tom Opacic stand, playing for Hull KR

Credit: Imago Images

With Hull KR gaining more of a foothold in the second half, in part due to a moment of magic from Mikey Lewis, the Robins were finally in Wigan territory.

That didn’t last long though as they sacrificed possession via a penalty after Tom Opacic lashed out at Adam Keighran following what he felt was an attack against him on the floor.

Whilst trying to find his feet to play the ball, Opacic saw his face clawed at by Adam Keighran and when he finally did find his feet, Hull KR’s centre made sure he found Keighran’s face too with a shove towards his fellow countryman.

With the ball long gone a minor melee ensued before Chris Kendall had to call play back and address the scuffle, ultimately sending both men to the bin.

However, it was granted as a Wigan penalty despite the initial action coming from Adam Keighran with Opacic’s reaction being punished more harshly than the initial contact towards him.

With both men down to twelve, it wasn’t long until Hull KR’s misery was added to again with Wigan adding another through Jake Wardle to make it 38-6.

By this point, Willie Peters was permanently marshalling the touchline with the Hull KR boss having seen any hopes of another Challenge Cup Final wilt in the Doncaster sun.

There could well be plenty of RFL attention on this game with the disciplinary panel looming for both Opacic and Keighran, whilst Peters’  comments towards the match officials could also be looked at.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John

    May 18, 2024 at 11:11 pm

    I used to regard the referee as one of the best in the game but recently I think he has gone off the boil. Several unfathomable decisions today as with another match recently, but his refereeing of the Leigh Salford match was appalling. I do not think for a minute he was deliberately biased, but it seemed Leigh could do no wrong, whilst Salford only had to blink to be penalised.

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