Ref’s errors under fire

Paul Wellens
Paul Wellens

REFEREE Robert Hicks came under fire for his handling of Sunday’s Widnes-Saints derby clash at the Stobart Stadium.

Both clubs were perplexed by some of the Oldham solicitor’s decisions, with St Helens claiming they had two legitimate tries chalked off and Widnes insisting that they had been denied a perfectly-executed second-half conversion.

Saints caretaker coach Mike Rush said: “There was some dubious decision out there this afternoon.

“I thought Lance Hohaia scored under the posts and skipper Paul Wellens also crossed the whitewash.

“If I’m wrong – and it shows that on the video – then I’ll hold-up my hand but I’ll be surprised if I am.”

Vikings counterpart, Denis Betts, was even more scathing as he assessed the man-in-the middle’s performance and the decision of the touch judges not to award a 52nd minute Rhys Hanbury goal after Saints old boy Chris Dean had stormed over to reduce the deficit to 12-10.

The former Wigan player and coach said: “From the camera angles we have already seen, we feel the ball went over.

“I am always asking for consistency from my players but we haven’t got that from the referee and his other officials today.

“The referee has said that he thought the ball went over, but the two touch judges kept their flags down and as a result the person who is a in charge has been overruled.”