Wigan Warriors boss Adrian Lam gives his view on teams 'cheating' to win penalties

Adrian Lam has welcomed action aimed at preventing players deliberating passing the ball into off-side opponents.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 4:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 10:19 am
Adrian Lam won't coach his side to cheat
Adrian Lam won't coach his side to cheat

Castleford arrive at the DW Stadium on Saturday days after coach Daryl Powell admitted his side resorted to "cheating to combat the cheating" in their 37-16 defeat to Catalans in Perpignan.

A social media clip showed Castleford centre Michael Shenton deliberating passing the ball into an off-side opponent, from the play-the-ball, to win a penalty.

"We're saying if that's the way it is, we're not going to get hurt by it all the time, we'll do it ourselves," said Powell.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lam felt it was unfair that a team would concede a penalty when the attacking player deliberately passed the ball into a player on the floor or clearing the ruck.

He said: "If they find a player and pass it into them intentionally, they should just play on. And if the opposition jumps on the ball then so be it."

But instead, Saturday's game will be the first since an amendment was made to the referee's policy, with immediate effect.

From now on, passing into an opposing player in and around the ruck, in any direction, will be deemed to be acting against the spirit of the game and the passer will be immediately penalised. Three other amendments were made to try and tidy up the ruck.

Placing the ball on the tackler will now be ruled a knock-on, while players will also be penalised for stepping over a defender to place them in the ruck.

A penalty will also be awarded "if the ball is forcibly heeled back with the intention of contacting the defending player", or for passing into an opposing player in and around the ruck.

Steve Ganson, the RFL’s head of match officials, explained: “A number of high-profile incidents during and before the Easter weekend have shown certain teams or players acting contrary to the spirit of the game, in a manner that has infuriated fellow professionals, broadcasters and, crucially, supporters."

While Powell says they were "cheating to combat the cheating", Lam says he won't coach or condone that in his team.

"We don't talk about that. We even say don't lie down if you cop a high shot," he said.

"I think at times some teams have been lying down when they've had a crusher tackle, or a ninja tackle... I think we've got a Batman tackle coming soon!"