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“Wow” – Former official stunned as Wigan Warriors star avoids ban

Harry Smith

The Match Review Panel of the RFL has released the charges for Round One of the Betfred Super League season. There was a lot of focus on whether Wigan Warriors players would be banned before the World Club Challenge.

Hull FC’s Franklin Pele is expected to receive a lengthy ban because of his red card against Hull KR. His swinging arm caused his dismissal. Catalans Dragons’ Michael McIlorum is also at risk of a six-match ban for his red card against Warrington Wolves. Liam Watts of Castleford Tigers will also face a tribunal and may receive a long-term ban. The RFL has stated that recommended punishments are included for offences graded A-D. Players and their clubs can challenge these punishments at an Operational Rules Tribunal on Tuesday evening.

Players charged with Grade E or F are required to appear at an ORT on Tuesday evening. Hence, the cases of the three players charged with Grade E offences will be heard alongside the appealing Ryan Brierley tonight. The RFL has strong cases against all three players charged with Grade E offences, which means that they are likely to receive some sort of ban. This will increase the total number of players banned after the first round to 12. However, some will argue that it could have been 13. The question among Wigan Warriors fans was whether star man Harry Smith would pick up a ban for his tip tackle.

He has avoided a ban however with the RFL explaining: “The Wigan Warriors scrum half Harry Smith will be available to play in that game after the dangerous throw/lift charge for which he was sin-binned at Castleford on Saturday was graded as B. This was because the unnatural actions of the tackled player significantly contributed to the outcome of the tackle.”

Former official stunned that Wigan Warriors star avoided ban

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ – 21/05/2015 – Rugby League – First Utility Super League – Castleford Tigers v Huddersfield Giants – the Mend A Hose Jungle, Castleford, England – Referee Richard Silverwood.

Former Super League official Richard Silverwood then took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to have his say.

He initially noted how he felt that the sin binning of Leeds Rhinos star Paul Momirovski was incorrect and that the decision to not charge him reflected that.

He said: “So, as I thought, Momirovski should have been nothing. Crazy sin bin. Ligi Sao and Parcell should have been same colour. Both yellow / red. As for Watts, no words. Low attacker, Watts arm down straight but yes contact with the head. Understand the red in this crazy world but Grade E, wow.”

He then would add on Wigan Warriors star Harry Smith avoiding a ban: “Double WOW. Just seen the Harry Smith tackle. How is that tackle and player landing on his head nothing yet Watts is Grade E?”

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