Super League star’s comments potentially hint towards appeal

Leeds Rhinos’ battle with St Helens on Friday night was as controversial and fierce as you will ever see in Super League and showed why rugby league, even when teams aren’t executing as well as they should, is still the greatest game of all.

One of the controversial moments came with three minutes to go.

Leeds were attacking but squandered a huge chance to win the game when Sam Walters’ offload went into touch as he looked for Nene MacDonald.

Then a huge pile in was sparked with an altercation between Jonny Lomax and James McDonnell at the centre of it all.

McDonnell was then shown a red card leaving many Leeds fans confused as there seemed to be no clear footage of the incident that showed any real wrong doing.

McDonnell has now been banned for punching.

However, the second row at the time of the red card was visibly confused by the decision as picked up on Sky Sports whose footage picked up audio between referee Liam Moore and McDonnell as the red card was shown.

Moore said: “Mate, you threw a punch that is an automatic red card.”

McDonnell’s response was one of real shock: “A red card? I didn’t do that.”

It is also worth noting that it seems McDonnell shook his head when Moore said he threw a punch and possibly said “no I didn’t” though that isn’t clearly heard.

Could this suggest that Leeds will chose to appeal the decision?

With McDonnell himself believes he did nothing wrong then it is possible.

The Rhinos will be without the likes of Aidan Sezer, Harry Newman and Morgan Gannon after injuries in the same game.