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Rugby League facing an “existential threat” after shocking Hull FC red card, claims Sky Sports pundit

Hull FC lost once again last night but sadly the post-match reaction has been centred around an officiating decision instead of the rugby league that was on show.

In Sam Burgess’ first Super League game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, his side were expected to roll over a Hull FC team that suspensions and injuries had massively hampered.

Tony Smith was without 13 senior players including captain Danny Houghton who failed a HIA during FC’s opening round defeat against Hull KR.

As such the club’s new signing Nu Brown took the armband but his debut as skipper was cut short when he saw red in a hugely controversial fashion just before the half.

Brown was the second man in the tackle on Ben Currie and the Hull FC man was effectively spun around and back towards Currie with the two clashing heads, triggering a nasty bleed for the Wire man.

Contact was minimal but the awkward angle opened up a cut which in turn alerted officials to the incident that otherwise may have gone under the radar.

Fast forward two minutes and the Hull FC man was sent off after being told there was ‘no mitigation’, something that Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney has now gone off on.

Not a red card for Hull FC in a “million years”

Hull FC signing Nu Brown

The red card for Brown completely changed the game with the sides tied at 6-6 at the time of the incident only for Warrington to win 36-10 as they exposed a tired Hull FC.

Not only did the red card ruin the game but it also highlighted the flaws in the rules of the sport, something that Carney highlighted in an impassioned rant on Sky Sports.

He explained: “Okay, we know there is a clamp down on head contact and that accidental head contact will be punished, but I cannot support this action in the game.

“If this is a red card in the game, then I’m saying we’ve got an existential threat to the attractiveness of our game.”

It’s a massively bold statement and highlights that it’s not just fans who are concerned about how the new laws can affect the game as many are switching off, but also the concerns that those involved in the game have too.

Carney continued: “In a million years I cannot find a red card for Nu Brown in this instance.”

It’s a massively concerning time for the sport with fans switching off at a rapid rate and the host of the sport’s biggest-ever broadcast deal labelling the game as facing an “existential threat”.

Clarity needs to be provided and quickly to prevent an exodus of fans.

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