MICHAEL Maguire defended Joel Tomkins after he was sent off in Wigan’s 14-12 victory against Hull FC yesterday.
The champions were trailing 12-8 when second-rower Tomkins was shown a red card by referee Steve Ganson for leading at Kirk Yeaman with his elbow.
Josh Charnley’s second try and Sam Tomkins’ late penalty secured the 12-men Warriors the two points, much to Maguire’s relief.
And afterwards Maguire said he thought Joel Tomkins’ challenge on Yeaman was “sloppy” rather than malicious.
He said: “It was a bit of a sloppy one there. It connected on the chest and the elbow went up, so we’ll assess that in the week.”
The RFL will view the incident today, but Hull FC coach Richard Agar had no doubts the red-card was the right decision – and lashed out at Warriors’ tactics.
He said: “It’s a disappointed and angry changing room.
“I just hope that when the game’s reviewed, they watch every tackle and they watch it in freeze-frame, and see if they pick up some stuff.”
Tomkins and Yeaman had scrapped just before his sending-off, and Agar continued: “The sending off was 100 per cent the right call. If you look at the brawl between Joel Tomkins and Yeaman, Sam Tomkins has come in and given him three haymakers from behind, so they were maybe lucky to only have one player sent off.
“If my players are copping some of the things they copped today, if my players aren’t going to get the right protection during the game, I’ve no dramas if my players react in that way.”
Maguire praised the character of his side as Wigan maintained their unbeaten start to their Super League defence.
Wigan trailed 10-4 at half-time after Ryan Hoffman’s opener was followed by tries from Hull’s Joe Westerman and Tom Briscoe.
A Westerman penalty stretched Hull’s lead to 12-4 but two tries by Josh Charnley drew the scores level, before Sam Tomkins kicked the decisive penalty.
“It was a tough game and at times we didn’t play to our capabilities, but that was credit to Hull – they turned up to play,” said Maguire.
“Some times the games are ugly and that was one of them, and it was great that we managed to dig deep and get the win.”
Paul Deacon was taken to hospital after suffering a “bad knock” to the head early in the game.