Leeds look on anxiously as Mathers waits for knee scan results

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The Independent Online

Leeds hope that their England full-back, Richard Mathers, has not played his last match for them after badly injuring his knee in Friday's defeat by Hull.

Mathers is out of contract at the end of this season and is a target for the new Australian club, the Gold Coast Titans. He is to have a scan this week and a bad diagnosis could mean that his Headingley career is over. A club spokesman confirmed that he has ligament damage and that, if there is a rupture, he could be out for the season.

"But at the moment we are very, very far from saying that," he said. "We are waiting for the swelling to go down before we can see the extent of the damage. It could be just a strain, which would be six to eight weeks."

The League's director of referees, Stuart Cummings, has said that the video referee, Steve Presley, was right to disallow what would have been Wigan's match-winning try at Wakefield on Saturday. Pat Richards' last-minute effort was ruled out because he lost the ball in Colum Halpenny's tackle, before recovering to touch it down.

The Wigan coach, Brian Noble, complained about the decision, which left his side six points adrift of Trinity, rather than a mere two, but Cummings says that Presley was right to rule that Richards was responsible for losing the ball.

Widnes have denied holding crisis talks with their coach, Steve McCormack, after the defeat by Hull KR on Sunday, which left them fifth in National League 1.

The club's new chairman, Stephen Vaughan, has already sacked its highest-paid player, David Peachey, and McCormack has been promised money to bring some new players in.

Widnes, who have lost to their promotion rivals, Leigh, five times so far this season, have a Challenge Cup tie against the Catalan Dragons on Sunday.

The former Hull and Bradford coach, Brian Smith, has resigned after 10 years at Parramatta. Smith was due to leave at the end of this season to take over at Newcastle Knights, but has brought forward his departure after seeing his side lose seven of their first nine games in the NRL.

The Queensland coach Mal Meninga has named seven players new to State of Origin rugby in his side to face New South Wales in the first match of the series in Sydney next Wednesday.

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