Rugby League Incidents: Warrington and Wigan Players Avoid Bans Post Challenge Cup Final

Rugby League Results: Warrington and Wigan Players Avoid Bans After Challenge Cup Final Incidents

In the aftermath of the thrilling Betfred Challenge Cup final, Warrington’s Matt Dufty and Wigan’s Mike Cooper have both escaped bans, despite receiving yellow cards during the match.

The two incidents, which occurred just minutes into the game, were met with significant controversy at the time, as they appeared to significantly impact the complexion of the final. However, the RFL’s Match Review Panel has now confirmed that no further sanctions will be imposed on the players.

For Mike Cooper’s tackle on Josh Thewlis, where the Wigan forward’s arm made contact with the head, the Panel determined that “low force but opponent is falling into contact and player is trying to avoid contacting the head” and that the original sin-bin decision was sufficient.

Similarly, for Matt Dufty’s high tackle on Liam Marshall, the Panel ruled that “contact is low force” and the on-field yellow card was an appropriate outcome.

Alongside these two incidents, the Panel also reviewed three other occurrences from the final – Liam Farrell (head contact), Junior Nsemba (dangerous throw/lift) and Brad O’Neill (dangerous throw/lift) – but decided against taking any further action in those cases as well.

“The decisions by the Match Review Panel appear to differ from the interpretations made by referee Chris Kendall and video official Liam Moore during the match, who had both emphasized the ‘force’ involved in the incidents when issuing the yellow cards.”

Nevertheless, the outcomes mean that both Dufty and Cooper will be available for their respective clubs’ upcoming Super League fixtures. Wigan are set to take on Castleford Tigers, while Warrington face Salford Red Devils.

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