Saints prop Amor avoids ban, ref’ Thaler dropped

Kyle Amor marches off the DW Stadium pitch
Kyle Amor marches off the DW Stadium pitch

St Helens prop Kyle Amor has avoided any further punishment for his controversial dismissal in the Good Friday derby at Wigan.

The former Wakefield and Leeds forward was sent off just 12 minutes into the match at the DW Stadium for a high tackle on Wigan winger Liam Marshall, who went on to score two second-half tries in a 29-18 victory.

Acting Saints coach Jamahl Lolesi was left fuming by the decision, insisting it was not a red-card offence and criticised referee Ben Thaler for failing to consult video official Phil Bentham before taking action.

The Rugby Football League’s match-review panel initially decided the tackle was careless and ruled it was a grade B offence, which carries a one to two match suspension, but Amor opted to fight the charge.

An independent operational rules tribunal chaired by high court judge Peter Charlesworth and including former players Wilf George and Danny Sculthorpe on Wednesday evening downgraded the charge and, after finding him guilty of a grade A offence, ruled that the dismissal was sufficient punishment.

While Amor is free to play in Friday’s game at Widnes, Thaler has been left off the Super League list - for the second time in three weeks - and instead will referee Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie between Dewsbury and Batley.

Meanwhile, Widnes forward Chris Houston has been found not guilty of making contact with a referee.

The Australian back rower was put on report by Phil Bentham after he was bundled to the ground four minutes from the end of the Vikings’ 19-10 defeat by Warrington last Thursday and charged with a grade D offence.

However, he denied the offence when he appeared in front of the disciplinary tribunal and was found not guilty.

Leigh full-back Gregg McNally was given a two-match ban after admitting a grade C offence of making contact with referee Jack Smith during his side’s 12-6 Good Friday defeat at Salford while Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale avoided any further punishment for a similar grade A offence against Wakefield.

Warrington hooker Daryl Clark was given a one-match after submitting an early-guilty plea to an offence of striking in Monday’s 26-24 win over Huddersfield while team-mate Declan Patton avoided any further action after admitting a charge of tripping.

Wigan centre Anthony Gelling was given a one-match for a dangerous tackle during his side’s 16-10 win at Wakefield on Monday and Hull second rower Sika Manu avoided any further action after admitting a high tackle in his side’s home defeat by Leeds.

Huddersfield stand-off Danny Brough will miss his team’s Challenge Cup tie against Swinton on Sunday after being found guilty of using foul and abusive language to referee Chris Campbell during his side’s 29-10 league defeat by Catalans Dragons last Wednesday.

Brough, who was sin-binned for the offence, denied the charge when he appeared at the hearing.

Swinton forward Josh Barlow will also sit out Sunday’s game after admitting a grade D offence of striking with his elbow. He was banned for four games and fined £100.