In two brilliant, if at times controversial, semi-finals, St Helens and Castleford came out on top to book their places at Wembley on July 17th. St Helens showed tremendous steel to vanquish Hull whilst Castleford’s fire power blasted them to victory over Warrington. Well that was my view. What did social media think?
Let’s start with the weekend’s biggest talking point: Theo Fages’ crucial try. It gave St Helens a 12-point halftime lead. But that’s just how the history books will depict it. To us, it’ll always be remembered for the controversy it induced. As you will no doubt know, the try came following a Josh Griffin injury. He dropped the ball in agony and Fages picked it up and scored. Some questioned this and wondered if the try should have been awarded. In doing so, people suggested that the referee should’ve stopped play as soon as Griffin went down.
No issue with Theo Fages.
I’ve a big issue with Liam Moore not stopping the game though.
Griffin is in agony. Just snapped his Achilles.
If it was the over way round?
Best not go there…
— Dan Tomlinson (@dantomlinson92) June 5, 2021
Personally think the ref should have stopped play immediately as everyone on the field and watching the game could tell it was a very serious injury.
Blow your whistle. Stop Play!!!
In my opinion https://t.co/4posiAM1RH
— Leon Pryce (@leonpryce6) June 5, 2021
The referee had the discretion to stop the game so any blame points in that direction. Yes in an ideal world, the sportsmanlike thing to do would be for the players to stop play but this is pro sport and morals and sportsmanship died a long time ago. Ref should have stopped.
— SimonCh (@SimonChapman9) June 5, 2021
Some were of the opinion, as were plenty of pundits, that every player would’ve done as Fages did.
No Hull fan can tell me that most if not all of their players would’ve done the same.
— Dale Muller (@Dale_Muller13) June 5, 2021
Play to the whistle, would Usain Bolt have stopped if someone in front pulled a hamstring mid race?
— Sean (@seanwin2509) June 5, 2021
To Griffin’s credit, he didn’t moan about the situation and wished St Helens well.
Absolutely gutted to of ruptured my achilles, it's a cruel game sometimes, very tough one to take.
Thanks for all the messages, credit to all the saints players checking in with me after the game. Good luck to them in the final 🙌
— Josh Griffin (@joshogriffo) June 5, 2021
Although he wasn’t best pleased with Jon Wilkin.
John Wilkin must be toughest man in Rl history. Yeh I should of done better with holding on to the ball but don't compare a ruptured achilles to a cut. 🤡
— Josh Griffin (@joshogriffo) June 5, 2021
Unsurprisingly, questions were thrown the way of Fages himself.
Bit of class from Tommy Makinson looking at the referee to stop the game whilst Fages is too busy celebrating. Don’t have a problem with him carrying on playing. But celebrating whilst the rest of your team is concerned about a seriously injured player is wrong.
— David Cass (@DavidCass_) June 5, 2021
Glad that sportsmanship is still alive and well. Even in football the ball would have been put into touch without capitalising on a players injury
— Adam Buckley (@AdamBuc18675814) June 5, 2021
Fages attitude is his problem. As displayed by him in his celebration of his noble try.
— Jane Marshall🟨🟥 (@JaneParshally) June 5, 2021
However, even without the controversial try, Fages was outstanding and perhaps the difference between the two teams and he quite rightly received some praise.
Saints are going to miss Fages next year, great player.
— Liam Claffey (@LiamClaffey) June 5, 2021
Winger Regan Grace was equally impressive. He scored two very different very good tries that epitomised his growing strengths in this his best season yet.
That Regan Grace try is right up there with the best and most important I’ve ever seen
— Matthew Webster (@mattyweb2602) June 5, 2021
Yes saints bit nervy ending credit to Hull for the fight back regan grace try was the game breaker
— christopher jones (@jonesylfc7752) June 5, 2021
Brilliant win for Saints, Regan Grace with the play of the game, that interception won the game. Love him!
— Caleb 🔥 (@Calebxz) June 5, 2021
As for Hull, a valiant effort ended in defeat. Some rivals fans were rather pleased to see them fail at the final hurdle before Wembley.
Sun’s shining, significant progress being made on the house move and Hull FC lost. pic.twitter.com/CuYICZ8WuG
— formerly jurassicsnarkk (@jd_1612) June 5, 2021
Some Hull fans were pleased with the effort but disappointed with the result and Griffin’s injury.
Gutted about the result, but the lads gave it their all. Gutted for Griff as he had an England call. Fans sounded amazing! #hullfc
— Mike (@1MikeJohnston) June 5, 2021
Brilliant occasion, cracking cup tie, glorious sunshine, unfortunately beaten by a better team but no lack of effort from the players or the fans lucky enough to be there 🖤🤍🖤🤍#hullandproud #hullfc #COYH #pimmsoclock pic.twitter.com/fv85QyUDna
— Tackle 52 (@CarolineGreen1) June 5, 2021
Some felt that the game was too similar to years gone by at Hull and even brought back an old hashtag.
— sam newman (@samnewman89) June 5, 2021
As for Castleford’s victory, the Tigers got themselves in front with a blistering first half. Although some felt Warrington were unlucky with one particular try which was awarded by the video referee. It led some to question the principles behind the way we use the video referee.
Warrington absolutely done there. That’s why there should just sent up to the video ref rather than making a on field decision.
— LR Fans – CC Winners 2020 🏆 💙💛 (@RhinosFaithful) June 5, 2021
In truth though the Tigers were a step above the Wolves in all departments and Twitter recognised it.
Fair play to Daryl Powell and Cas today, they got their game plan absolutely spot on and they wanted it more than Warrington who I thought looked a bit complacent. It'll be a very interesting final.
— Bradley Asquith (@BradAsquith7) June 5, 2021
After facing some criticism in recent weeks – which was no doubt exacerbated by the fact his future lies at Warrington – it was a well deserved win for Powell and his team.
— Mark Wilson (@MarkWilsonRadio) June 5, 2021
It was nevertheless inevitable that Twitter would find humour in the ‘Daryl Powell derby.’
Daryl Powell's second favourite team have made it there!
— TruthTalkingMaverick (@TruthTalkingMav) June 5, 2021
Like Grace in the first semi, a winger was highly influential for Cas. Jordan Turner – who has been a brilliant signing – came up some vital tries which helped earn himself a place at Wembley against his former side. He devoted the success to his grandad as Twitter showered him in praise.
We’ve made Jordan Turner look like Josh Addo-Carr today.. Unbelievable banter
— Jamie Bate (@Jamie_Bate) June 5, 2021
How does Jordan Turner run so fast with Charnley in his pocket?
— graham neal (@grahamneal1959) June 5, 2021