Why Challenge Cup Finalist avoided ban despite “reckless” tackle

The Match Review Panel met today and Wigan Warriors, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and St Helens stars landing in hot water and among the 11 charges was one man from Leigh Leopards which of course was a worry for the Leopards ahead of their Challenge Cup Final against Hull KR at Wembley on Saturday.

Fortunately there was no suspension for either side with the Leigh star Matt Davis only being fined for a high tackle on Aidan Sezer yesterday as he hit the Leeds halfback as he kicked the ball.

The Match Review Panel said this: “High Tackle – Reckless – tried to tackle but reckless about outcome.”

The fact he tried to tackle is a likely reason for the avoidance of a ban as is his previous record.

Speaking on this moment on Sky Sports, Bill Arthur said: “Matt Davis has flattened Aiden Sezer there, it’s going to be a penalty. Sezer is back up on his feet, I’m not sure he was hurt badly but it was late enough.”

However, Phil Clarke claimed it wasn’t late but a fair challenge responding to Arthur saying: “It’s a fair challenge.”

This came as Jon Wilkin branded it a shoulder charge: “I think the issue that he’s got is that he doesn’t wrap his arms or make an attempt to wrap his arms, so the accusation there would be that it’s a shoulder charge.

“In terms of the timing it’s not late, the issue is that it didn’t look like he had any intent to wrap his arms around Aiden Sezer as he kicked it. It’s a penalty.

“It’s the first bit of ill discipline and it comes from Matt Davis and there’s no need. Just slow yourself down and make a tackle in an orthodox way then that’s not a penalty.”

Thus, Davis will be able to feature against Hull KR at Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final in what could the biggest game of his career and it should be a great game and it is fantastic to see that there is no focus on bans or even injuries for the most part.