St Helens came out of the blocks in triumphant fashion against the Salford Red Devils, doing exactly what Paul Rowley’s men have done against Super League rivals all year.
Kristian Woolf’s side rolled into a 12-0 lead courtesy of two Joe Batchelor tries, but a moment of controversy then struck when Salford’s Chris Atkin – who was starting in place of the concussed Brodie Croft – went into a tackle with Morgan Knowles.
Knowles appeared to hold Atkin’s arm in a chicken wing hold – that is pulling Atkin’s arm behind his back as the rest of his body stayed stationary.
Referee Chris Kendall reached for a yellow card having consulted video official Tom Grant.
Here is the incident:
A closer look at the Morgan Knowles sin bin incident 👀🟨 pic.twitter.com/H62PHJf69c
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) September 17, 2022
As always rugby league fans were keen to give their view on the incident especially in such a high profile game.
Surprisingly, many felt that the yellow card wasn’t punishment enough with most claiming that it was a chicken wing and a red card:
How’s that not a red
— David Beeston (@DavidBeeston) September 17, 2022
Shocking it’s not a red
— Matthew 🍻 (@matthewxsutton) September 17, 2022
Red all day long
— Phil Williamson (@poolcelt) September 17, 2022
Should’ve been red. Clear chicken wing, ban incoming
— That’llbemethen (@metrhino) September 17, 2022
One spectator believed the incident would result in a ban however and see him miss the Grand Final should Saints progress.
He won't be playing next week if they win. Should be red and he's definitely getting a ban
— Lee Harrison (@leeharrison2505) September 17, 2022
Salford managed to weather the early storm from the reigning champions as Kallum Watkins stormed onto a short ball from Atkin to reduce the deficit to just six despite being second best for the majority of the half.
With Knowles returning to the field from his sin bin, Saints were back up to their full complement and Jonny Lomax had just enough time to slot over a one-pointer on the stroke of half-time to extend the hosts’ lead to 13-6.
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