Huddersfield Giants coach Ian Watson believes a “huge” refereeing error contributed to his side’s defeat by his former club Salford on Friday.
The Giants went down 9-8 in the first match at the John Smith’s Stadium since the return of spectators to grounds.
That was despite Salford playing with only twelve men for more than half the game following the 34th-minute dismissal of James Greenwood.
Referee Scott Mikalauskas showed the second rower a red card after Huddersfield hooker Adam O’Brien was the victim of a high tackle.
But Watson, whose ninth-placed side have now suffered six defeats in nine Super League matches, insisted the culprit was Dan Sarginson.
“We told the fourth official and the other official who was wired up that he had got the wrong man,” he said.
“We even tried to show him on the computer on the sideline.
“I had a discussion for about five minutes with him. All he had to do was tell the referee, because he’ll be held responsible. It was a huge error.
“He sent the wrong guy off and left one of the best players on the field who shouldn’t have been on the field. It had a massive impact on the outcome of the game.
“I’d be surprised if he (Sarginson) doesn’t get a load of games banned, but it doesn’t help us.”
It was Huddersfield’s first game in a fortnight following the postponement of their home clash with Wigan under Covid protocols.
The Giants lost halfback Jack Cogger to a knee injury only eight minutes in and had two tries disallowed, while Aidan Sezer hit an upright with a late field-goal attempt.
But Watson, whose side head to Hull on Friday, insisted: “We had more than enough chances to win the game in the second half.”
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