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“We need to…” – Hull KR boss not happy with Jake Connor disciplinary decision

Hull KR Jake Connor Willie Peters Mikey Lewis

Hull KR boss Willie Peters has called for greater consistency from the Match Review Panel in how they determine charges after Huddersfield’s Jake Connor evaded a ban.

The first two rounds of the Super League season were consumed by controversy and discourse surrounding the disciplinary panel’s punishments with a whopping 16 players charged after the Round One games.

Among those there were several bans dished out from Super League’s season opener which saw Hull KR visit rivals Hull FC, one of those suspended players being Robins’ hooker Matt Parcell.

The Australian was hit with a Grade B charge and a one-game ban for what Peters today described as a “facial”, the veteran hooker seeming to shove his hand into the face of FC’s Ligi Sao who responded with a knee and kick out.

That saw Sao cop a two-game ban, later downgraded to one, and in somewhat similar circumstances Huddersfield Giants’ Jake Connor landed a blow on KR star Mikey Lewis when the two sides met on Saturday, leading to Lewis failing a HIA.

As such Hull KR will be without their playmaker for this Friday’s Challenge Cup clash against Salford Red Devils, but Connor will be available for the Giants after being hit with just a fine for his Grade B offence of ‘striking’.

Peters has since spoken to the media to provide an update on how Lewis is fairing but he’s also called into question the ‘inconsistency’ highlighted by Connor evading a ban.

“There was force to the head” – Jake Connor lucky to avoid ban after Hull KR incident?

Jake Connor

Credit: Imago Images

The incident in question happened in the second-half with the Robins well on their way to victory having gone 24-0 up on the hour mark and Peters today confirmed how Mikey Lewis has come through since the incident that left him visibly dazed.

“He’s not too bad,” Peters told the media.

“He’s in decent spirits. Obviously, he’ll miss the game this week, which is unfortunate for him and the team, but it certainly gives someone else another opportunity. He’s okay at the moment.”

When asked further about Jake Connor having escaped a ban for the offence, Peters described what he deemed to have happened and reasoned that it perhaps should have merited a harsher punishment than the £250 fine it did incur.

“Oh, there’s no doubt that (Jake Connor) kicked out in the tackle. There’s no doubt about that, you can see that,” Peters explained, adding: “I think it ended up being like his foot, more so than the knee, so there’s certainly some contact there. They’re both passionate players, aren’t they?

“The panel made a decision in terms of they didn’t see that there was too much in it, but for me, Matt Parcell got a Grade B for a little facial. So we just need to be consistent there, don’t we?

“You can see there was contact to the head. There’s no doubt about that. There was force to the head. Now we’ve got a player that can’t play this weekend.”

Peters continued by referencing that Round One charge and ban handed to Matt Parcell, something that he argued was seen in many tackles but goes unpunished.

He stated: “Matt Parcell and his little facial, which happens in every single tackle or just about every single tackle and has never been pulled up again. So for me, if someone kicks out like that and then you’ve got a play they can’t play the week after then I probably think there should have been a little bit more.”

“They’ve made their decision and that’s their decision. You asked my opinion and that’s my opinion. Matt Parcell got a Grade B and a game for a minor facial and then we’ve had a player who had contact made to the head, which you can see, and he now doesn’t play the week after. We’ve just got to be consistent with it.”

Unfortunately for Hull KR, that man won’t be new signing and their replacement half-back Ben Reynolds with the ex-Leigh Leopards man cup-tied after playing for Featherstone Rovers earlier on in the competition.

That could see Hull KR opt to move either hooker Jez Litten or full-back/centre Peta Hiku into the halves with both men capable of playing the role and also having players that could deputies behind them.

Matt Parcell may well play hooker if Litten is chosen as May’s partner whilst Tom Opacic would be an easy replacement in the centres if Hiku moves into the halves, allowing Niall Evalds to retain his full-back role after impressing at the weekend against Huddersfield Giants.

They might have their own half-back dilemma and that could be highlighted further for Hull KR as they will be coming up against one of the best halves in the competition in Mark Sneyd, Salford’s star player who has been near-perfect with the boot this season on both in-play kicks and conversions.

The ex-Hull FC man was integral to the Red Devils’ Round Three victory over the Robins and Willie Peters will be hoping his side can contain Salford’s number seven far better this week.

Current KR prop and ex-Salford man Sam Luckley told Serious About Rugby League about the dangers that Sneyd possessed when assessing the upcoming game, explaining: “He’s a great kicker, isn’t he? He’s that kind of a player, he’ll always find a way to play to his strengths.

“As an opposing team, you’ve just got to put him under a heap of pressure. Giving him time with the ball is probably going to hurt yourself. So you’ve just got to take that away from him and put him under pressure.”

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