Hock’s punishment correct

When Gareth Hock stepped into Red Hall earlier this week, his heart must have been thumping as to whether the punishment he’d receive would be one that could potentially end his World Cup hopes.nnWe’ve seen in football that players stalk the referee, always trying their very best to win decisions. Chelsea are the main instigators and culprits of this. Nothing has infuriated me more than to see the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry and Joe Cole chase after the the match officials because a decision hasn’t gone their way. It’s pure petulance, and it thoroughly spoils the games.nnAfter reading various match reports after Friday’s game suggesting that Hock had not only followed the official in question, Ian Smith, but also physically attempted to talk to him, I really despaired as to what attributes this so-called family game is picking up from other sports.nnBut after watching the replays, and reading on the various message boards including Last Tackle that Hock deserved a massive suspension, I couldn’t see it myself. Sure the rules state that physical harassment of the officials is wrong, but would people agree that Hock deserved anything more or less than the five match suspension he was given?nnHe was clearly incensed at the decision, plus the fact Wigan were being torn apart by Huddersfield, so clearly his feelings got the better of him. It was pure stupidity on his part but claims by people for a “ten game suspension” are equally as stupid.nnA five game suspension means his domestic season is finished, but it will be interesting to see if England coach Tony Smith believes he warrants a place. Hock can be a very useful player on his day, but you have to consider that their may be other players such as Jamie Jones-Buchanan who are more deserving of a place.nnWhatever the outcome, Hock now has to be wary that his position on a rugby league field will now become a mine-field for decisions going against him. Best behaviour from here then Gareth!n

nnHOW DISAPPOINTED was I to read that Tony Smith has delayed naming his provisional 42-man squad for the World Cup, so as to keep all the English players on their toes.nnIt may be a good idea in principle, but it would have given those players a chance to impress in their respective final games of the domestic season. Clubs like Castleford, Huddersfield and Hull FC are going to struggle to make the top six this season, so by releasing the names now, it would have given the players of those clubs a chance to work hard in their remaining five games to impress Smith.nnThere’s no doubt that the 17 who played France will be included – excluding Sam Burgess – plus the other couple of players who missed out. I thoroughly hope the likes of Richard Moore and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook are included. Players who have proved themselves this season. Moore in particular deserves a World Cup place, but it seems unlikely with the abundance of forwards we have.nnWho would you like to see make the final cut?

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