As rugby league fans focused on Leeds Rhinos vs Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves visiting Salford Red Devils, Leigh Leopards battling with St Helens and Castleford Tigers edging towards safety against Hull FC as Wakefield Trinity lost, as all of this was unfolding, rugby union fans were focused on the rugby union world cup.
There was a major talking point that bled into rugby league when Tom Curry was sent off after he accidentally clashed heads.
This highlighted the difference between the sports when King Vuniyayawa and Matty Ashton.
It was reviewed by the video referee when Ashton needed assistance and Ben Thaler simply dismissed the moment as “a complete accident” and no further action was taken.
This is a credit to the sport in relation to rugby union and a credit to the officials and we saw great composure from Liam Moore in the same game after an altercation with Brad Singleton and Paul Vaughan.
This led to Liam Moore dressing them down as you could hear on Channel 4:
“Listen to me, you’re both experienced players, two senior blokes on this field, no listen to me whilst I’m talking.
“What I don’t need is afters at scrums. Lets settle down and if you don’t I’ll get involved.”
After the scrum, Warrington would pay the price for a Peter Mata’utia knock on with Ben Hellewell hitting a great line to carve through and score.
In the heat with two open and attacking sides meeting you always expected a lot of points in the meeting between the two and it only took a matter of minutes until we saw the opening try as a kick from Josh Drinkwater was fumbled by George Burgess straight into the hands of Matty Nicholson to score.
Salford looked to hit back straight away and gave the ball to Deon Cross in space. He cut inside squeezed through and went to ground the ball. There was a suspicion that he had dropped the ball so it was sent up to the video referee as a try where it was determined he had been tackled so a penalty was awarded.
There was another try disallowed at the other end when Paul Vaughan twisted and turned his way towards the try line but as he reached over he lost control of the ball.
This gave Salford the chance to level matters when after a Peter Mata’utia knock on a good line from Ben Hellewell allowed the backrower to carve through and score.
Warrington had the chance to move further clear when they kicked the ball wide and it was batted back to George Williams. He volleyed it but it went dead. Had he caught it or hit it with less venom it would have been a certain try.
Then an error from Stefan Ratchford bringing it out of his own end led to a simple try from Brodie Croft.