Wakefield Trinity penalty missed: ‘It could make all the difference’

Wakefield Trinity

Another week, another controversial moment in the sport of rugby league. This time it’s during the clash between Warrington Wolves and Wakefield Trinity in the Challenge Cup.

Warrington opened the scoring through returning winger Connor Wrench on 10 minutes for a 6-0 lead. Full-back Josh Thewlis supported a break two minutes later to give his side a 12-0 advantage.

Wakefield Trinity hit back on 27 minutes through Lewis Murphy, scoring his first professional try. 

Seconds from the half-time hooter, Wakefield back-rower Kelepi Tanginoa looked to have been pulled back on a clear try-scoring opportunity. However, referee Jack Smith dismissed calls from the Trinity players and blew his whistle for half-time instead.

“That’s a huge call from the official,” said Premier Sports leading commentator Mark Wilson during the play.

“He’s been held back. That’s as clear as day. Tanginoa has been tackled off the ball.

“A controversial end. Not only is it a penalty, he has to go in the bin hasn’t he?”

Former player Eorl Crabtree commented: “That is genuinely unbelievable. It’s a yellow card, it’s that simple. I don’t understand that one. Why wouldn’t you have a look at it?”

During the half-time analysis, the former forward added: “It could make all the difference. As a team and coaches, you ask your team and players for composure. The referee has got that one wrong. 

“That could have been a try or penalty try. It should have been a straight yellow card.”

Social media reactions

The incident of course sparked discussions across social media.

Journalist Aaron Bower wrote: “How have Wakefield not got a penalty there? At the very least! Absolute madness. It’s a stonewall foul on Tanginoa and should be a yellow card!”

Daily Mirror rugby league correspondent Dave Craven wrote: “Tanginoa looks for all the world he’s been pulled back on the last play as he chases a kick to score but ref Jack Smith blows up without checking.”

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About Josh McAllister 1307 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.


  1. Shocking response from referee Jack Smith following a clear obstruction in the action of scoring a try. Wakefield forward Kelepi Tanganoa clearly impeded. I trust the powers that be will ask for an explanation as to why he didn’t go to the video referee. Clearly a penalty and a yellow card. No wonder some clubs feel hard done by. Unacceptable officiating and he needs to justify his actions.

  2. Why are referees not accountable for there actions. When a team has lost, the coach always gives a press conference, although he doesn’t want to. Why aren’t referees made to do the same.

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