Last weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-finals between brought about plenty of controversy as Leigh Leopards defeated St Helens and Hull KR beat Wigan Warriors in golden point extra time to set up an unlikely Challenge Cup Final.
John Asiata’s tackle technique has dominated much of the talk since the first semi-final between Leigh and Saints, but initially after the game the controversy of Zak Hardaker’s try caused a huge debate online and in the media.
As Leigh approached the line, Tom Briscoe chased a kick through and seemingly took Tee Ritson off the ball, allowing Hardaker to touch down for a crucial score.
The try was awarded despite many people feeling Briscoe had illegally challenged Ritson, and Leigh went on to win the game by two points and make it to Wembley.
Former Super League referee said the try should have been disallowed and now to add more controversy, Leigh and Briscoe have been involved in a similar incident again.
And for the second week in a row the call went Leigh way, but this time the try was not awarded as Briscoe was eased off the ball by Wigan’s Liam Marshall, who then picked up and passed on to Joe Wardle to score from long range.
Referee Jack Smith sent the decision upstairs and on review the try was chalked off, with Marshall using his hands to ease Briscoe out of the way as the ball approached the touchline.
Speaking during the game, Channel 4 co-commentator Kyle Amor said: “I’m going to say it, to me there is very little difference between that one and the Briscoe one last week that was awarded.
“I think Wigan can count themselves unlucky there because there was not much in that and you could argue that if the one this week was awarded then this one should be too.”
This was backed up at half-time by Huddersfield Giants player and on-duty pundit Ashton Golding who claimed his former Leeds Rhinos teammate Briscoe was smart.
“I think Marshall is there because he is just looking for the ball. Briscoe knows what he is doing and he’s trying to stop picking the ball up and being pushed into touch.
“Marshall has never intended that and I think that if I’m Wigan, I am feeling a bit aggrieved about that decision there.”