Hull KR boss Willie Peters gives verdict on card-a-thon and issues Super League warning

HULL KR head coach Willie Peters has given his thoughts on the latest issues surrounding yellow and red cards.

The number of cards hit double figures over Super League Round One with referees and video officials on a clampdown of interpreted foul play.

For Peters, he doesn’t want the initial reaction to any incident on the field to be an automatic card.

“We know if you hit someone around the head with a swinging arm, it’s going to be a red card or a yellow at least – but what we don’t want to do is go overboard,” Peters said.

“If you need to use cards because the evidence is there, we keep using them but we certainly don’t just go to that.

“My biggest concern is the grounds are wet at the moment and players sometimes don’t have time because of a bit of late footwork at the line. Sometimes you can collide with heads but we can’t have cards for accidents.

“Player safety and where the game is going, we’re all on board with that. We all know you can’t hit around the head and every team will have worked on tackle techniques but we can’t just go to a card.

“It’s still a contact sport and sometimes players don’t have time to react in a certain way because the time is taken away from them.”

Peters was asked about the red card handed to Castleford Tigers’ Liam Watts against the Wigan Warriors on Friday night – a challenge which rankled a number of viewers.

“I haven’t looked at it closely but at times you need to tackle together and having looked at that pitch, it’s going to be pretty slippy underfoot as well,” said Peters.

“In that case, he got him round the head with the shoulder but I don’t know whether the player went down, he didn’t bend enough or what the reason was.

“Players need to put their bodies in front but sometimes they don’t have time to do certain things that are asked of them. We just need to take that into consideration.

“Naturally for Craig, it’s one of those where he doesn’t think it’s a send-off – and it hurt them. Then the other guy didn’t get sent off from Wigan which hurts even more.”

The KR boss has called on video referees to be quicker in their decision-making, echoing Leeds Rhinos boss Rohan Smith’s comments about reducing the amount of stoppages and warning that fans and viewers are there to be entertained.

“When players get penalties, they should be able to play quickly. Some referees will allow that and others won’t. It can’t be about how they’re feeling – it needs to be about speeding the game up.

“At the moment, there isn’t a great deal of flow to the games. That’s what makes our product so good to watch and it brings certain players into the game.

“If you look across the league at the weekend, it was difficult for halves to run and open up opportunities because there wasn’t a great deal of fatigue in teams at the moment because of its stop-start nature.

“I’m a fan of the video referee because no one wants to not make a Grand Final on the wrong end of a big call but we need to play an open, fast and expansive-type game to keep fans entertained.”

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