Quins RL crashed out of the 2007 Carnegie Challenge Cup last night, going down 25 - 6 to Wigan Warriors at the JJB Stadium.
The Quins had braced themselves for an expected backlash from the Warriors following the previous weekend’s win at home in the league against the same opponents. The home side took an early lead through tries by Chris Ashton and Pat Richards which were to eventually send them in 12 points up at half-time.
Quins pulled the scores back to 12 - 6 after the break when debutant Stephen Bannister, a recent signing from St Helens, went over for a try converted by Paul Sykes. The complexion of the game was changed thirteen minutes into the second-half when winger Jon Wells was sent off for a high tackle, Wells who is not known as a dirty player appears to have been clumsy in his attempt to tackle rather than intentionally aiming to injure Darrell Goulding.
However, the sending off did again raise questions about officiating impartiality following the decision not to punish Bryan Fletcher for apparently striking Quins hooker Julien Rinaldi in an off the ball incident. Two seasons ago Martin Aspinwall, then playing for Wigan, scythed down Wells in a game at Griffin Park with what appeared to be an attempted karate kick, but no further action was taken allegedly after the reviewing committee was unable to find sufficient evidence despite the incident being repeated shown in television footage.
A full match report is here.
Wigan: (12) 25
Tries: Ashton, Richards, Calderwood, O'Loughlin
Goals: Richards 4
Drop goals: Barrett
Harlequins RL: (0) 6