CASTLEFORD TIGERS captain Michael Shenton admits he was “bang out of order” for conning a penalty against Catalans Dragons but is glad his “frustrated” actions helped lead to much-needed rule amendments.
The former England centre came in for fierce criticism on social media after purposely throwing a pass into an opposition player lying behind the ruck during Easter Monday’s 37-16 loss in Perpignan.
It is a ‘tactic’ that has become increasingly prevalent from some players and teams this season and one which has infuriated so many people.
Shenton’s actions, though, surprised many as the 32-year-old is regarded as one of the most professional and respected players in Super League.
But, speaking exclusively to The Yorkshire Post, he said: “We spoke about getting done (penalised). They (Catalans) did it to us about five times.
“It just really annoyed me – it really did – and I was properly frustrated by it all. It’s not the sort of thing I’d normally do.
“People have been doing it to us all year, messing about at the ruck and things like that.
“It was bang out of order from me and I shouldn’t have done it.
“I should know better and as a role model for the sport it was not the right thing to do.
“But it just got the better of me. Still, at least something good has come from it now.
“It’s highlighted it all again and there’s been changes to the rules since. It’s great to see they’ve done that. Hopefully, we’ll see it ended once and for all.”
The Rugby Football League head of match officials Steve Ganson announced a series of amendments to the referee policy on Tuesday to try and stop the loathsome practice.
It stated ‘any ball passed into an opposing player in and around the ruck, in any direction, will be deemed to be acting against the spirit of the game’ with the passer immediately penalised.
After the Catalans game, an exasperated Castleford coach Daryl Powell said the amount of cheating in games is “growing” and is “disgraceful” adding “we’re cheating to combat the cheating.”
He urged the RFL to act and they swiftly did with a series of other amendments aimed at cleaning up the ruck.