Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith has slammed the RFL’s decision not to dock Salford City Reds points for breaching the rules.
In the dying minutes of the Reds’ 34-30 victory over Castleford Tigers, it was discovered the home side fielded 14 men, for which the RFL fined them £10,000.
But Smith, speaking in the wake of his side’s crushing 52-6 Challenge Cup victory over the Reds, felt the punishment did not go far enough.
“They absolutely should have been docked points,” he said. “I would hate to have lost a game today because our opponents had an extra defender on.
“Ask any other player what it’s like to have someone a foot out of position and what the effect that can be on your own goal line.
“To have an extra man for three plays when your opponents are attacking your line – that’s a god send.”
And the former Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants head coach explained there could be dire consequences if the RFL restructure the domestic British leagues.
“We’re talking about promotion and relegation coming back in,” he said. “There are extreme consequences.
“How would you like to be Cas later on in the year, when they may well have scored a try had there been 13 men on the field?
“We’ve already seen people are willing to break the rules to win, what about breaking the rules to survive and stay in the competition?”
The 46-year-old Australian believes the sport’s governing body missed the opportunity to send out a positive message, but feels strong leadership would set things right.
“It would have just sent a great message to the rest of us – it’s our responsibility from here on in to do things right,” he added.
“As it is, it sends out a poor message – if you are prepared to pay for it then you can get away with it. It was very concerning.
“There’s a bit of a snub at the rules at the moment. It’s going to take some leadership at the top at this stage.
“I’m not sure we’re getting the direction that we may need.”
Image courtesy of WorldwideWarrington, via YouTube, with thanks