Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has launched a scathing attack on rivals Leeds Rhinos – accusing them of influencing the disciplinary process which resulted in Taulima Tautai being banned earlier this week.
Tautai was given a two-match ban by the RFL’s disciplinary panel, but after appealing the decision on Wednesday, Wigan managed to get the ban cut in half: meaning Tautai is available for the Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull next Friday.
But Wane said that he was upset with comments made from Leeds about the tackle Tautai was charged with – an alleged ‘cannonball tackle’ – and said it simply influenced the panel.
“Some of the comments from Leeds after the game – and before the match review panel – massively influenced everything,” he told Wigan Today.
“Which I think is really poor and disappointing.
“Not only (Brian), I’ve got Leeds players running to the referee (in protest). If that’s the way we’re going, I feel sorry for our game.”
Meanwhile, Wane confirmed that forward John Bateman will make his return during the Wigan-St Helens derby on Friday night.
Bateman has been suspended by the club for eight weeks following an off-field incident earlier in the year, but Wane said that the England international will make his return to the Wigan side in the derby at the DW Stadium.
“He’s trained for many weeks now and he’s fit and raring to go,” Wane said.