Jake Wardle has been sent to the sin bin in a double blow for the Wigan Warriors at the start of the Battle of the Borough against Leigh Leopards.
The incident came as Leigh scored a superb try. On the last tackle, Leigh exploited the numbers down the right edge with Ben Reynolds finding Gareth O’Brien out the back.
O’Brien found Zak Hardaker who had Lachlan Lam looping round the back to tee up Tom Briscoe who showed great awareness of the minimal space he had as well as superb strength to touch down in the corner despite a desperate effort from Bevan French.
The try was expectedly refereed to video referee Chris Kendall by Liam Moore but as he did he told Kendall that if the try was disallowed that he would be going back for a penalty.
Footage showed that Jake Wardle had hit O’Brien late causing flexion of the head which is always an indicator to referees of a card.
O’Brien was helped from the field and the try was given. Ben Reynolds converted and after that Wardle was shown a yellow card.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Terry O’Connor said: “If there is consistency, he has to go for 10 minutes.
“We have seen it, this year, last year, if you hit anyone once they have passed the ball, if you get your timing wrong you are going to spend some time in the sin bin.”
It comes at a time when there is a lot of debate about it with bans being handed out for these incidents and plenty of cards being shown despite Jack Ashworth not being punished in last week’s Thursday night Sky game.
O’Brien has now been ruled out of the game failing his Head Injury Assessment.