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Super League rule change needs to be implemented with immediate effect

Ben Thaler Super League

Ben Thaler was at the centre of controversy in Super League this weekend, with fans not happy with one particular incident.

Warrington Wolves defeated Hull FC 24-18 with a late, spectacular, Matt Dufty try, but things could have been very different.

With just minutes remaining of the match, the score was 18-18 and Hull FC had the ball on the last tackle, deep in the Warrington half.

Possession changed as a Hull FC player was tackled after a contested kick, but the ball seemed to touch a Warrington hand before going back to FC.

This means the tackle count should have been restarted, giving the Black and Whites a full set close to the Wolves line, and a possibility of winning the game with a drop goal.

Warrington, through Dufty, then went up the other end to score themselves.

Neither the officials or the commentators seemed to spot this at the time, but plenty of fans noticed, leaving them furious.

Warrington Wolves Quiz: Can you name these former Super League players?

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Toby King Warrington WOlves Super League


Captain’s challenge in Super League?

Andrew McCullough of the Dragons talks to the referee about a decision during the round seven National Rugby League match between the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons

Credit: Imago Images

Some have used this incident to suggest a new rule being implemented in Super League, which is one that already exists in the NRL.

The ‘captain’s challenge’ was introduced to NRL for the 2020 season in an attempt to reduce the impact of missed decisions by the officials.

Teams can contest a referee’s decision at stoppages in play, and can only make one unsuccessful challenge per game before being stopped from making them again, to try to stop them being over-used, or even as a ploy to slow the restart of a game.

It was used at the World Cup in 2021, which was the first time Super League-based players experienced it.

If it was used at the weekend, officials could have consulted the replays and spotted the touch and awarded Hull a full set of six, which would potentially have swung the game in their favour.

Super League has a history of implementing NRL’s rule changes and it’s certainly not out of the question that this could happen in the near future.

This wasn’t the only controversy of the weekend, as Marc Sneyd’s deliberate penalty miss leading to a try that was ruled out showed a lack of understanding of the rules across the sport, with even Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley admitting that he didn’t know the rule existed.

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