Warrington boss Daryl Powell has say on controversial video referee decisions

Josh McAllister
Daryl Powell, SWPix

Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com.

Daryl Powell did not sit on the fence regarding the two controversial video referee decisions following his side’s 13-6 defeat to Wigan at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Matt Peet’s Warriors handed the Wire their first defeat of the season, having gone eight unbeaten to the start of 2023.

Centre Jake Wardle, who featured on loan at Warrington last year, opened the scoring, with Bevan French providing the assist.

But it was Wigan’s second try that split opinions, with the video referee awarding the four-pointer to substitute hooker Brad O’Neill, with question marks over offside and the grounding.

Warrington managed to make it a six-point gap just before the break with back-rower Matty Nicholson scoring against his former club, set up by a long-range break from Matty Ashton.

And Harry Smith’s boot was the only point of the second 40, kicking a drop-goal in the victory, while substitute Greg Minikin saw his effort disallowed with less than 60 seconds left on the clock. 

Daryl Powell on controversial calls

“I don’t think we played a smart game of wet weather rugby league and that’ll be the key lesson for us tonight,” Powell said.

“Having said that, we were under extreme pressure for most of that game and we just got beat. 

“I’ve absolutely no idea what the VR is seeing at the end there. That’s a try, and then it’s a closish game. 

“Look, I don’t think it was that close. I thought they deserved to win the game. 

“But I was just saying to the boys then, when you’re in a close game, you only need three or four minutes to win it in the end. 

“They get a drop-goal, but we’re in it right until the end there in terms of the score. There’s a lesson in there for us to hold your nerve even if you’re not playing well, you can still win a game.”

On O’Neill’s effort, first sent up as a no try by Chris Kendall before being overruled by video referee Tom Grant, Powell continued: “I thought he bounced it at the time. If you slow them down, well, you know. 

“I think the video referee will have a couple questions from tonight, because I thought Greg Minikin’s try was a try.

“On top of that, I would say I thought Wigan were deserved winners.

“I’ll have a good look when I get home. I don’t think it changes the result. 

“It is what it is. There’s arguments all the time in VR.”

WATCH: Wigan try splits opinions in top-of-the-table clash