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Super League Disciplinary: Why Challenge Cup stars avoided bans

Super League Disciplinary

Warrington’s Matt Dufty and Wigan’s Mike Cooper have escaped bans, despite both receiving yellow cards in the Challenge Cup final.

The pair had both been sin-binned just a few minutes into the game, which arguably changed the entire complexion of the game, stifling much of the excitement early on.

Mike Cooper’s card was for a tackle on Josh Thewlis, who slipped into the tackle.

Cooper’s arm wasn’t raised, and looked to be trying to wrap – but there was direct contact with the head.

Dufty, meanwhile, was penalised for a tackle on Liam Marshall, where he did seem to go high, but also seemed to go over the winger’s head after making contact with his chest.

Both decisions were met with immense controversy.

The RFL confirmed today: “Following this weekend’s Betfred Challenge Cup Final, the Match Review Panel have issued no sanctions.”

They revealed that both incidents were indeed reviewed by the Panel, and indicated the reasons they escaped further punishment.

Quiz: Can you name all these ex-Warrington Wolves players?

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Revealed: Why Challenge Cup stars avoided bans

Super League Disciplinary: Super League and Challenge Cup Referee Chris Kendall

Credit: Imago Images

In the Match Review Panel’s minutes, the incidents reviewed were revealed.

Alongside Dufty and Cooper’s incidents, there were three others reviewed, namely: Liam Farrell (head contact), Junior Nsemba (dangerous throw/lift) and Brad O’Neill (dangerous throw/lift).

However, no action was taken against any of them.

For Cooper’s tackle, the minutes show that the Panel determined: ““Low force but opponent is falling into contact and player is trying to avoid contacting the head. Sin bin sufficient.”

This is in contrast to what referee Chris Kendall said during the match. He said: “There is mitigation in that he’s falling, but there is a lot of force in that, there’s a little bit of a swing as well, it’s ten minutes in the bin.”

Therefore, it seems that the Panel came to a different decision to that of Kendall and video referee Liam Moore.

Meanwhile, for Matt Dufty’s tackle, the decision was: “Contact is low force. Sin bin sufficient.”

Although it’s hard to determine exactly what was said by Kendall, due to commentators speaking over him at the time, he did seem to use the word “force” again when sending Dufty for ten, suggesting another difference in opinion between the Match Review Panel and the match officials.

As it stands though, both men will be available to feature in the upcoming Super League games after receiving no further punishment for their Challenge Cup Final indiscretions. Wigan are set to take on Castleford Tigers whilst Warrington face Salford Red Devils.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Stuart Richard Acton

    June 10, 2024 at 4:54 pm

    Any club but Wigan and all 3 of their players would have been banned. They are the best side in SL by miles, so don`t need any help, but they always get kit by avoiding bans that players from other clubs would get.

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