Trio face League's wrath over rare cases of tripping

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The Independent Online

Three players will face disciplinary hearings tonight accused of the relatively rare offence of tripping.

Huddersfield's Luke Robinson, Jon Wilkin, of St Helens, and Darrell Goulding, of Wigan, have been charged on video evidence after games over the Easter weekend. Tripping used to be a mandatory sending-off offence, but is now left to the discretion of the referee.

Five other players will also appear before the League on other charges. Bradford's Terry Newton and Louis Anderson, of Warrington, are accused of use of the forearm, while Paul King, of Hull, Danny Ward, of Harlequins, and Hull KR's Stanley Gene face charges of committing high tackles.

Ireland want Warrington's Michael Monaghan, arguably the form player of Super League so far, to spearhead their World Cup campaign.

The Australian-born scrum-half qualifies through the grandparent rule and the Irish coach, Andy Kelly, hopes Monaghan will make himself available for the autumn tournament in which Ireland have group games against Tonga and Samoa.

"Obviously, we'd love to have a player of his quality involved," Kelly said.

Monaghan is the leading contender for the Albert Goldthorpe Medal, which is based on form in each round of Super League. He could be joined in the Irish squad by Wigan's Pat Richards, who is also Australian-born, but both of whose parents come from Dublin.

The St Helens scrum-half, Matty Smith, will be out of action until July after breaking his hand. Smith has recently been standing in for Sean Long in Saints' Super League side and his absence makes their squad look more stretched than ever.

Saints play the league leaders, Leeds, who beat them in last year's Grand Final, on Friday for the first time this season and their coach, Daniel Anderson, says they are underdogs because of their injury list.

"You can only play what's in front of you, but they are toweling everyone at the moment," said Anderson, whose side were surprisingly beaten at Huddersfield on Monday. "Leeds are daunting [for opponents], but very entertaining [for spectators]."