Andy Last highlighted the decision to penalise Josh Griffin for patting Oliver Partington on the head as the major turning point in Hull FC’s semi-final defeat to Wigan.
The Black and Whites were ahead 2-0 after a strong opening half an hour and had forced an error out of the Warriors in their own half when Griffin approached Partington and rubbed his head.
That resulted in referee Chris Kendall awarding a penalty to the Warriors, rather than a knock-on in favour of Hull, and Wigan scored from the following set.
The league leaders eventually ran out comfortable 29-2 winners.
“There were some harsh calls for us, unfortunately. Patting a gentleman on the head in an emotional semi-final is a big swing. We could have forced some pressure and points, then they go down our end of the field and score. So that was a big momentum swing.
“I probably would say it’s a big turning point, I just struggle with the consistency with the referees. We saw some incidents last week on the TV and nothing was done, then we give a penalty for someone patting someone on the head. I thought it was a major, major turning point tonight.”
Last did pay credit to the Warriors after advancing to the final, which will be played at Hull’s KCOM Stadium.
“I’ve got to give credit to Wigan, they’ve got a great ability to frustrate you and knock you out of your rhythm.
“In the second-half, they suffocated us, we made some errors trying to chase the game a bit and you have to credit the way they went about their business.”