Jon Wilkin and Jamie Jones-Buchanan question refereeing consistency as they claim Leeds Rhinos forward should have seen red for tackle on Hull KR’s Oliver Gildart

SKY SPORTS pundits Jon Wilkin and Jamie Jones-Buchanan have questioned the consistency of referees following James Donaldson’s yellow card during Leeds Rhinos’ fixture with Hull KR last night.

Much has been made of the new tackle height focus with 13 cards being shown in Super League Round One with the likes of Liam Watts, Michael McIlorum and Franklin Pele seeing red for head contact last weekend.

However, as Leeds took on KR last night, James Donaldson swung an arm at Oliver Gildart as the latter went into contact.

Referee Jack Smith adjudged there to have been mitigating circumstances in the fact that Gildart was falling to the ground, but both Wilkin and Jones-Buchanan believe that Donaldson was lucky to escape with a yellow card.

Jones-Buchanan said: “That’s a good question, whenever you invite the referee to put his hand in his pocket it’s a bit of a lottery.

“There is some force there and I’m not sure that Oliver Gildart is falling into that tackle. It is a little bit reckless and I think he is lucky to get a yellow card.”

Meanwhile, Wilkin went further, stating: “I don’t think there is any mitigation, he is the second man coming into contact and he could have easily clamped on to him.

“He chooses to swing his arm. This is an aggressive, forceful contact with the head of an opposing player that is going to ground.

“For me, Gildart is going to the ground, Donaldson doesn’t need to use that much force. For me if you’re a fan and every fan is saying ‘that’s red’ then it has to be consistent.

“Even if he is falling to the ground, there has to be a responsibility from the defender to protect the ball carrier. I believe it was reckless. He endangered the safety of another player by being reckless into contact. He is lucky.”

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