DEBATE about the severity of Mike McIlorum’s three-match ban has been reopened by fresh attacks of the RFL’s disciplinary panel – which was described as a lottery by Sam Tomkins.
The one down-side to Wigan’s 46-6 mauling of Catalan in the opening round of the play-offs was it ended any hope McIlorum had of playing in next month’s Grand Final.
And as the Warriors turn their attention to the semi-final in 10 days’ time, Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai have criticised the hooker’s punishment.
Tomkins said: “I think it’s rubbish. There’s no consistency in any sort of banning.
“The system depends on what week you go, how severe your penalty is going to be. It was careless rather than reckless.”
Kiwi halfback Leuluai questioned how McIlorum – banned for a late, and high tackle on St Helens’ Anthony Laffranchi, for which he was red-carded – could be handed a more severe punishment than when Rangi Chase broke an opponent’s jaw, playing in a Cup match against Featherstone, earlier this year.
Leuluai said: “I thought it was a harsh decision. Rangi Chase broke someone’s jaw and got three matches.
“Really, Micky got four matches when you add the red card he got. So what he did was worse than breaking someone’s jaw?
“Micky’s been a massive part of our team, for me he’s been our best player this year, so it’s tough to take.”
Wigan are just 80 minutes away from a Grand Final and, should they win, Tomkins says McIlorum will more than have played his part.
“It’s very disappointing Micky doesn’t get to play for us again this year,” he said.
“But he’s done more than enough to get credit. We owe it to him to get there now. He’s gutted, but he’s a strong character.”
l Wigan’s Under-20s face Leeds in a play-off semi-final this Sunday, kick-off at Stanningley 1.30pm.