England are facing off against Tonga at Headingley with the game approaching half time however both sides will be finishing the first forty minutes a man down.
With England 14-0 up having just added two points through a Harry Smith penalty it was the turn of Matty Lees to run the ball out with the Saints man taking a huge carry and copping an equally large hit.
The situation then got messy when Lees tried to get the tackler off him, but did so by pulling his hair leading to a tussle on the floor and then a 26 man melee and fracas.
Referee Chris Kendall took the situation into his own hands once the bodies had cleared outlining to captain George Williams and the offender Lees that ‘you cannot pull someone’s hair’, with Lees protests regarding a swinging arm being ignored.
As such England’s prop was sent for ten and Tonga might have thought they’d finish the half with a man advantage and could potentially claw their way back into the game, but official Kendall wasn’t done.
He pulled over Keaon Koloamatangi and sent the South Sydney Rabbitohs man to the bin, telling him: “I blew up immediately for the hair pull. What I don’t need is you then piling in to dish out your own retribution, it’s ten minutes in the bin.”
Whilst the hair pull might have been missed by some of those in the stands it was picked up on immediately by commentator John Kear, the former England coach spotting it quickly.
He said: “The hair pull from Matty Lees. He finds himself in a bit of trouble for that.
“Sometimes you have got to wear the tackle, he got walloped and you just have to wear it. It is petulant from Lees.”
England have since gone into half time with a 14-0 lead, the two tries coming from Warrington Wolves men as Ben Currie and Matty Ashton both crossed over.
The creator in both cases though was John Bateman of all people with the second-rower forcing multiple tacklers in with his strong carries and twice able to get a clever offload out.
The first time saw him allow Harry Newman to start a move wide on the elft which Currie finished under the sticks, whereas the second try saw him play Newman in on the right with the Leeds Rhinos centre popping one out of the back to allow Ashton to cross in the corner.
Smith added both conversions and a further two points to head up England’s 14-0 lead during a first forty which was littered with Tongan errors.