Sam Tomkins says Morgan Knowles ‘deserved’ to play in the Super League Grand Final

The talk leading up to the Super League Grand Final last Saturday was all around St Helens forward Morgan Knowles.

After initially receiving a two-match ban from the Match Review Panel for a perceived ‘chicken wing’ tackle on Salford’s Chris Atkin in the semi-final, Knowles was cleared to play in the Grand Final after a successful second appeal.

This caused a backlash from many sections of the rugby league community who questioned how the decision was overturn after an unsuccessful first appeal, with Knowles also sin-binned for the incident during the game.

However, speaking to Sky Sports, Catalans Dragons fullback and England captain Sam Tomkins believed the tackle wasn’t worthy of Knowles missing the showpiece event at Old Trafford.

“Yes, I believe he should be playing,” Tomkins said. “I don’t think that tackle warranted him missing the biggest game of the year.

“I think the process leading up to him playing is a shambles, I think that’s got some clear floors that need to change.

“But yeah, I think Morgan deserved to play in the Grand Final.”

Tomkins opposing view of the incident wasn’t shared by many, including Leeds Rhinos legend Danny McGuire who believed the outcome would have been different had it happened earlier in the season.

“I love Morgan Knowles as a player, I love the way he plays the game, I love the physicality he brings, but I have got to disagree,” said McGuire.

“Ultimately, in my opinion, he has committed some foul play on Atkin. If that was a different point of the season, you know six games in, I am not sure he gets off with it.”

As luck would have it, Knowles was again charged by the RFL’s Match Review Panel following the Grand Final for ‘dangerous contact’.

The one-match suspension handed to Knowles will see him miss England’s World Cup warm-up match against Fiji next month, he will however be free to play in the first group game against Samoa at St James’ Park.

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