Wane – Bousquet hit ‘a shocker’

Wounded Warrior Matty Smith after coming close to beating the Wolves
Wounded Warrior Matty Smith after coming close to beating the Wolves
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SHAUN Wane has admitted the number of head shots witnessed so far in Super League XVIII is a concern.

Last weekend’s games saw a number of hits which left the recipients needing treatment.

Wigan’s own Matty Smith received a seven-stitch gash above his right eye in the draw against Warrington, but other players didn’t get let off so lightly.

“That was a shocker,” said Wane on Catalan Dragons’ Julian Bousquet’s challenge on Salford’s Theo Fages.

“One thing you don’t want to see is your players like that.

“I’d be gutted if it happened to my half and I know why Phil Veivers was so upset about it because they lost a half. It was late.”

During Hull KR’s visit to Wakefield, Lincoln Withers also needed stitches to his head.

Such incidents put players in danger, but Wane doesn’t want to see shoulder charges banned as long as they are performed within the rules of the game.

“I wouldn’t like to get rid of it but a shoulder charge into the face is causing damage,” he warned.

“We saw a couple of shockers this weekend.

“I don’t want to see players out cold on the floor with challenges to their heads. There’s a place for shoulder charges but they need to be within the rules of the game.”

Wane understands that players routinely put themselves in danger just by stepping onto a rugby league field, but what he can’t stand is cheap shots putting players in unnecessary danger.

Smith’s cut wasn’t the result of a dangerous challenge but Wane said: “I want my halves to be tough.

“They take it to the line but the offset of that is that you get hit as you pass. That’s why I signed two tough halves and we had two tough ones last year as well.

“That’s how we like to play but it’s within reason.

“Once they’ve passed I expect them to be left alone or it’s up to the referee to deal with it.” Despite the potential seriousness of a blow to the head, Smith is definitely match fit and Wane even managed to see the lighter side of it.

“He’s prancing about with a cut, I keep seeing him looking in the mirror seeing how bad it is,” he laughed.

Warriors squad: Burke, Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Goulding, Green, Hughes, McIlorum, Mossop, O’Loughlin, Powell, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, S Tomkins.