Rohan Smith says controversial penalty against Jack Welsby was the right call

Last night there were some big calls perhaps none bigger than a call made around a huge tackle in the 75th minute,

At 24-all, Saints forced a drop out and Sam Walters hit Matty Lees with a thunderous challenge.

Jack Welsby then started a pushing match feeling that the tackle was illegal and replays suggested it could have been a shoulder charge.

That was the view of Jon Wilkin on Sky Sports after initially believing the tackle to be fair.

He said:

“You can’t do that. That is a shoulder charge. I apologise to Jack Welsby, that is a shoulder charge.

“That is a step too far, he will be lucky to still be on the field. At first I thought he had wrapped the arm but it was Cameron Smith who had done that.

“When Matty Lees is coming at you like that, you have to wrap your arm around.”

Everyone was preparing for Tommy Makinson to have a shot at goal till Chris Kendall ruled that it wasn’t a shoulder charge, giving Leeds a penalty for Welsby’s involvement in a crucial moment that helped turn the game.

Barrie McDermott then said: “I think he has got that wrong, for me it is a shoulder charge.”

Before Wilkin described it as a shocking decision: “That is a shocker. That’s not a shoulder charge? I called it from up here that it looked like a fair challenge so I get it, but having seen it a few times are you tell me it is not a shoulder charge?

“Saints will be fuming with that decision.”

In contrast, Leeds boss Rohan Smith explained why the tackle from Walters wasn’t a shoulder charge when asked on Sky Sports:

“The Sam Walters one, his arm wasn’t stuck t his side as the definition goes and the other player of ours was in the way so he couldn’t wrap him up.

“I haven’t seen the Hurrell one, I was watching the ball. It was also the third time that someone got hit late. I haven’t looked at any of them.

“I thought it was a great game. It was a phenomenal effort

“What they have done going to Australia and coming back and beating Cas last night showed the class they have we needed every bit of energy tonight.”

Then, speaking on the Rhinos YouTube channel, Smith also said that he felt the penalty that came out of it against Jack Welsby was justified:

“I’m told last year that clubs were warned that if anyone runs in and escalates the situation that there would be action taken and sometimes that happens and tonight was one of those times.”

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