There is no escaping the fact that the big story of Wigan Warriors’ Challenge Cup exit was the red card for Joe Shorrocks as they lost to Hull KR at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium.
Shorrocks had come on to make an impact and he set out to do that with a full blooded challenge on Mikey Lewis as he returned with the ball.
Shorrocks hit Lewis hard and the stand in fullback struggled to regain his feet after the contact was made.
The footage was consulted and it was spotted that Shorrocks’ shoulder had made contact with Mikey Lewis’ chin constituting “contact with the head” and therefore Shorrocks was sent off.
Now former official Richard Silverwood has had his say on the decision explaining why he felt it wasn’t a red card.
He said on social media: “Look at Mikeys legs as well on contact. He is crouched for me. In a massive semi final I wouldn’t be sending off.
“If he isn’t, I doubt people would be saying it should be a send off which for me says it all.
“Gone are the days of pick the obvious. That isn’t obvious IMO”
The game was a pulsating affair in the wet. The Robins could have been forgiven for feeling hard done by when Ryan Hall pulled out of the side late before kick-off but they stood up to early pressure before a delightful scrum move saw Louis Senior slide in at the corner.
Hall’s injury saw Mikey Lewis moved to fullback and Ethan Ryan moved to the wing. Lewis showed his worth with amazing footwork to confuse the Wigan chasers when they looked to trap him in goal.
Hull KR had the better of the first half but they were behind when Jai Field was given enough space to weave through and score in the corner.
Up against it at this point in the game, Shaun Kenny-Dowall turned the game when he intercepted but sadly he couldn’t go the distance but the Robins were now building pressure.
After absorbing a spell of pressure themselves, Wigan went down field and nailed a penalty to make it 8-4.
As aforementioned, the Warriors have now added to their lead after a second penalty from Harry Smith, his third goal of the game to give them a 10-4 lead which was cancelled out by an Ethan Ryan try.
A deserved win for Hull KR and a special performance from the Robins in a brilliant semi-final, there is no getting away from the red card as the game’s big moment in the contest.