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Why Wigan Warriors star was sent off

The reigning Super League and World Champions Wigan Warriors started the season unbeaten in a run that stretches back all the way to 2023 but they headed over to the home of the former Super League and World Champions St Helens in one of the biggest games of any season.

Arguably the biggest derby in rugby league and certainly the original derby, the two have won the last six Grand Finals between them stretching all the way back to 2018.

Many believe that the two will meet in the Super League Grand Final at the end of the season but for now the only thing up for grabs was the all important bragging rights over Easter as an imperious St Helens defence was tested against an unbeaten Wigan Warriors side.

St Helens welcomed back Lewis Dodd and Tommy Makinson from injury.

Wigan Warriors star sent off

The first half was a tight affair. The best chance of the first 40 went the way of St Helens after Lewis Dodd latched onto an offload and skated through but Jai Field came across to tackle the halfback into touch. Dodd was impressive and dangerous in the first 40 but despite a lot of possession on the Wigan line, the Warriors wouldn’t relent. Saints did take the lead with a penalty and did have a man advantage after Tyler Dupree was sin binned and crucially not red carded for leading with a forearm. It remained 2-0 at halftime however.

Then in the second half the first try would finally come after a kick from Bevan French as he grounded his own kick ahead.

However, shortly after this, Liam Byrne was sent off after direct contact to the head of Mark Percival.

Chris Kendall explained why the decision was to send him off. He could be heard saying on Sky Sports: “It’s direct contact to the head and there are no mitigating circumstances.”

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