St Helens made a winning return to Super League following their mammoth journey home from lifting the World Club Challenge.
It had been revealed that a group of 12 players and two coaches, Paul Wellens included, had taken 53 hours to return home after ‘complications’ in their flights home.
They made the first step towards retaining their Super League crown on Sunday in the Channel 4 televised game and the man on everyone’s lips made headlines again.
Jack Welsby opened the scoring for Saints as he darted under the posts but it was his defensive actions that caught the headlines, and not for the right reasons.
Welsby landed a swinging and reckless high tackle on Tigers’ winger Jack Broadbent when the attacker was all but certain to cross over.
It was deemed that Castleford should receive a penalty try however many believed that Welsby would see yellow, the Saints youngster included.
He told Channel 4 after the game: “I was glad not to see the yellow card come out, but I was disappointed to see them get a try under the sticks. I did my best.”
After the game, Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford also gave his view on the decision:
“I think he probably scores if he doesn’t have his head taken off. I think it was the right call.”
When asked if it should have been a yellow card, Radford said:
“I don’t know, I am not an official, I genuinely don’t know. You would have to ask the man in the middle.”
Castleford got the penalty try but they still ran out 24-6 losers to the World Champions and many wonder what would have happened had Welsby left the field.
The RFL disciplinary panel have since met and determined that no further action will be taken against the young full-back, something that may surprise some fans.
Listed as a Grade A offence, the lowest possible, he faces no further action with the minutes of the Match Review Panel stating the reasons for no further action.
“High tackle – Careless – stepped and reaching”
Both St Helens’ props were also checked by the MRP but neither were charged with Matty Lees seeing his alleged “strike off the ball” dismissed, as well Alex Walmsley’s alleged “late hit on passer”.
What does you have to do to get sent off?? Pure good fortune this didn’t cause a very serious injury.
Welsby actually jumped slightly to launch into the tackle and contact was directly to the head.
I was only waiting to see whether the ref had the courage to show a red, or copped out and went for yellow.
If it had been the other way round, a cas player they’d be sitting it out with 8 games, if you are a saints or Wigan player you could commit murder and somehow it would be turned around that they were the victim, if the RFL want them to be the best and win everything just give em the trophy now and all the other clubs can enjoy the fairness of the games
They (the RFL) have created a problem for them selves when there shouldn’t be one, any player (except a saints one) who does a Simular “Tackle” and gets sinbinned/ sent off and or banned, in my eyes have a Genuine grounds for appeal, I would go as far as taking it to court to get a Proper Independent ruling as the the RFL disciplinary Panel are not up to the Job, everyone except most saints fans agree it was a minimum Penalty Try AND a sin binning