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Revealed: Chris Kendall wasn’t behind controversial decision

Chris Kendall, referee. Wearing a green shirt with Ronseal and Oxen branding.

As Leigh Leopards won the Challenge Cup against Hull KR in the first final without Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves or St Helens since 1986, there was of course a touch of controversy.

Whether it was John Asiata’s tackle, the potential penalty try that wasn’t awarded and of course the first yellow card in a Challenge Cup Final since 2001, there was a lot to talk about.

But the yellow card was the most talked about decision in the match.

It was a decision that divided opinion but referee Chris Kendall explained the decision as heard on BBC.

He said: “There’s no attempt to wrap and it’s late contact. You’re in the bin.”

However, this wasn’t a directive from Kendall however but rather was a decision made by video referee Liam Moore.

All told, it was a great game as Hull KR struck first. Elliot Minchella gave away that penalty but immediately made amends as he broke through and found Jez Litten in support to score.

A Tom Briscoe error nearly led to a Tom Opacic try as the ball was kicked ahead. Opacic was then tripped up by Lachlan Lam who went for the ball but it was deemed an accident and no penalty try was given.

Leigh then said anything you can do we can do better as Kai O’Donnell broke through in similar fashion finding Lachlan Lam in support to score.

Minchella’s strange day kept going as he was penalised for a hit on Ben Reynolds and the Leopards took a 10-6 lead as Hull KR went down to 12 men.

Hull KR then nailed a penalty of their own on the stroke of halftime to make it 10-8.

The second half started as the first one ended with a Hull KR penalty as Hull KR drew level at 10-all.

It was then a very tense second half as neither side gave each other an inch. Try scoring sensation Josh Charnley had a chance when he got the ball wide but was held up.

Tom Briscoe scores tries at Wembley like it’s his backyard. Today was his eighth Challenge Cup Final try in his fifth final appearance and his eighth in the last four. He struck a decisive blow in the corner for the Leopards after a sweeping move.

But that try was cancelled out when Parcell touched down to score in the 79th minute after a kick bounced off Zak Hardaker.

However, in the end it was Leigh who will lift the Challenge Cup after a golden point drop goal from Lachlan Lam won the game for the club.

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