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Watson says Salford punished for moving TV game, insists they will appeal bans

Salford head coach Ian Watson says Salford have been punished for bringing their midweek game against Warrington forward for Sky TV coverage.

His comments come after Dan Sarginson and Luke Yates were today suspended by the RFL’s Match Review Panel.

Somewhat bizarrely, both players can play in Tuesday’s Super League match with their suspensions not coming into effect until Saturday’s crucial Challenge Cup semi-final against the Wolves.

While handing out the sanctions, the RFL stated: “Suspensions begin from midnight on the night of any hearing, which in this case would mean Tuesday evening and therefore this week’s Tuesday night Super League fixtures will not count towards the bans imposed by today’s Match Review Panel.”

However Watson has revealed that the Red Devils were originally supposed to play on Wednesday, which would have allowed Yates to serve his ban before the semi-final, while also allowing Sarginson to appeal in an attempt to play too.

Clearly unhappy about the situation, Watson said: “We are arguing that point now. The game has been brought forward and players and clubs are working really hard to keep the game afloat and get games on Sky and tick them kind of boxes.

“We have done that by bringing our game forward 24 hours to help, to get a double header on Sky TV at the AJ Bell stadium.

“But to now be penalised for it. For the match review panel to know that there is going to be a game on Tuesday but only look at the video on Sunday and then say ‘well, this game might not count towards that’ then I think that is really short-sighted.

“I think they should have said ‘right, there are games on Tuesday, Salford played on Thursday’ someone should have looked at that video on Saturday or Sunday and then said ‘let’s get a review panel on the Monday’.

“I think at Easter, we played on the Friday and the match review panel met up on the Saturday or Sunday then they give out all the disciplinary issues over that day.

“I do not know when they did all the disciplinary actual meetings but I knew all the disciplinary was out before we played on Bank Holiday Monday so what is different now?

“It is probably more because it might be this club at the moment but it just feels like it is the wrong way. It feels like it is not planned or organised.”

Watson also believes the bans handed out to Sarginson and Yates were not warranted and says they have been left with no choice but to appeal both.

“I do not know why RFL disciplinary panel have opted to suspend both Dan Sarginson and Luke Yates. You have to ask them that.

“I am absolutely baffled of why they have gone that way.

“We are going to have to appeal both of these bans or we will lose them for the semi-final.

“It is a big game and we are doing our bit at this moment in time. If there were discipline issues, we would have spoken about it to both of the players.

“We work really hard on discipline as a club because it is something that has held this club back for a long time.”

“They are letting players get away with it but then they pull Luke Yates up and his record is impeccable but he receives a one game ban. I just do not get the understanding of it.

“I have paused Dan Sarginson’s incident on 56 seconds. Jamie Shaul is stood in an upright position, so is Dan Sarginson about three feet away from him.

“One second, he goes through, Jamie Shaul loses his legs, he comes over the top and when he hits the floor, that is actually one second gone, yet you want a player to read what that full-back is going to do.

“To ask a player to change his intent and his tackle technique within one second, I do not care who you are, you are not doing it.

“As for the tackle Brad Fash committed, they were all obsessed with that challenge a few years ago.

“Outlawing the tackle and going anywhere near the knee. The way Brad Fash has gone in, he has gone in on the bend of the knee and a few years ago, I would have said ‘not a problem with that’.

“But the rules are now, if you go anywhere near the knee, or below the knee, you basically have a problem so either we are having those rules or not having them.

“If you are allowed to go in the back end of the knee, everyone can coach that way again.

“A couple of years ago, would it have been a penalty or a sin-bin or a ban? Probably not, but everyone agreed to take that tackle out of the game.”

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