‘It’s a little bit harsh, it’s not late’ – Hull KR forward sin-binned in Challenge Cup final

Drew Darbyshire
Elliot Minchella Hull KR Challenge Cup final Alamy

Elliot Minchella in action for Hull KR in the Challenge Cup final

Hull KR forward Elliot Minchella was sin-binned in the first half of the Challenge Cup final against Leigh Leopards.

The 27-year-old was shown a yellow card in the first half by referee Chris Kendall for what was deemed to be a late hit on Leigh kicker Ben Reynolds.

As a result, the Leopards were awarded the penalty and Minchella was sentenced to 10 minutes in the sin bin, with BBC pundit and dual-code legend Jonathan Davies disagreeing with the decision.

“You can’t give kickers that amount of space,” Davies said on the BBC commentary.

“If you’re a kicker, you’ve got to create your own space I think.

“I know they’re trying to protect the kicker, but maybe you put more pressure, wrap your arms. It’s a little bit harsh, it’s not late.

“Just get on with it. They’re trying to get players sent off, it’s getting a bit pathetic now lads.

“I can understand a directive that they’re trying to protect a player, especially a kicker, but he turned, he didn’t lead with the elbow.

“This is a Challenge Cup final, players work their socks off to get in a position then a referee makes that decision.

“When you look at it again, I’m not sure he led with his elbow. I think that’s harsh.”

Minchella is the first player to be carded in a Cup final since Bradford’s Shane Rigon in 2001.

The Leopards led 10-8 at half-time. They took the lead through a penalty goal from Reynolds before Hull KR’s Jez Litten scored the opening try thanks to a smart break from Minchella, with Brad Schneider converting.

Leigh regained the lead in the 26th minute when a lovely one-two from Lachlan Lam and Kai O’Donnell saw Papua New Guinea superstar Lam go over.

Minchella’s yellow card came on the half hour mark before Schneider added a penalty goal for KR late in the first half, with Willie Peters’ side trailing 10-8 at the break.

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