Richard Silverwood claims Sione Mata’utia incident was worse than Joe Shorrocks red card

Hull KR and Leigh Leopards are headed to Wembley after they defeated Wigan Warriors and St Helens at the homes of Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves in two all time great Challenge Cup semi-finals setting up a mouth watering final.

It will be the first final since 1986 without Leeds, Wigan, Warrington or St Helens contesting for the oldest trophy in rugby league.

That last final was contested between Hull KR and Castleford.

The two clubs are now chasing a first Challenge Cup Final win since 1971 in the shape of Leigh and 1980 for Hull KR and both are chasing their first major trophy since the 1980s.

There is a lot of similarities between the two clubs and that bled into the semi-finals themselves.

They were both defined by the favourites going down to 12 men.

St Helens were reduced to 12 men for 10 minutes with 20 minutes to go at the Halliwell Jones Stadium when Sione Mata’utia was sin binned for a late hit on Ben Reynolds with Chris Kendall stated that it was “late and with a lot of force.”

This gave Reynolds the chance to nail a decisive penalty that eventually won the game.

As for Wigan, Joe Shorrocks was sent off for making contact with the head of Mikey Lewis and this saw the Warriors surrender control of the game.

These decisions have caused widespread discussion.

Many feel that Shorrocks’ sending off was harsh whilst some have suggested that Mata’utia’s punishment wasn’t strong enough.

There was an argument to be made that Mata’utia deserved to be sent off under the contact with the head rule.

That is the opinion of Richard Silverwood.

He said on social media:

“That’s more a send off than Shorrocks.”

It will be interesting to see what the match review panel makes of both incidents and which is punished more severely.

Either way there is no escaping the fact that these incident were defining moments in crucial games.

That being said, Leigh and Hull KR both felt like deserving winners in the end and they will make a great final match up come August 12th when they meet at Wembley.