Salford Red Devils forward Ryan Lannon has been handed a three-match ban and a £300 fine after pleading guilty to a Grade D Striking in last Thursday’s defeat to St Helens.
Lannon collided with former Red Devil Theo Fages after the French half-back had kicked the ball leading James Child to send him from the field.
The incident came just moments after Alex Walmsley knocked out Jordan Walne – who didn’t return to the field – however Walmsley hasn’t been punished following the incident being put on report.
Lannon is now set to miss the opening three games of the 2018 season however forwards such as Lee Mossop, Lama Tasi and Mark Flanagan are expected to be fit for the beginning of next season.
Salford Red Devils Ian Watson was ‘proud’ of his sides efforts against St Helens in the final game of the season after spending 45 minutes with twelve men.
Watson said: “I’m proud of our effort and I thought we had a really good dig – I thought in the opening exchanges we were absolutely outstanding.
“We’ve spoken over the past few weeks about getting our swagger back and we did with how we played moving the ball and being a footballing team. We did it against Huddersfield and last night in the first half particularly.
“We looked a really good team but overall I think today typified what we spoke about as a group that real grit how they backed each other up, how they worked for each other especially when we went down to 12 men.
“The grit in our defence was unbelievable we had to do about seven defensive goal-line shots to do and managed them really well. That typifies the spirit we’ve got in these players.
“We went down to 12, we didn’t panic and we worked really well together as one defensive line where you thought they’d be able to put more points on us – that’s a credit to our resilience.
Watson also spoke about the big decisions regarding Jordan Walne’s injury at the hands of Alex Walmsley and Ryan Lannon’s red card.
“If Liam Watts’ the other week is a sending off Alex Walmsley’s is probably a sending off but I don’t think he’s maliciously gone at it. I only got one glimpse of it on the big scree and I know he gets him flush because Jordan Walne couldn’t come back on and that made it more difficult for us with one less substitution.
“Ryan Lannon’s red is an example of a young kid getting frustrated and maybe if there had been a sin-bin on the back of the elbow maybe Lannon doesn’t do that but there was clear frustration there from a young lad. He’s done a dumb thing and he’ll learn from it and I know for a fact Lannon will be better from it.”
Salford fell to defeat in their final game of the 2017 season, despite a valiant effort with twelve men for 45 minutes, against a St Helens side who confirmed their place in the top four.
Ryan Lannon was sent from the field towards the end of the first half but the Red Devils dug deep and only trailed by eight points heading into the final twenty minutes. However, the extra man eventually paid dividend for St Helens who ran out 4-30 winners.
It was actually Salford who took the lead early on as a flowing move saw the ball shipped from left to right before full-back Niall Evalds hit the ball at pace and stepped his way over. However, Gareth O’Brien’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
While it was the Red Devils full-back who scored early on it was Saints’ full-back – and mid-season signing – Ben Barba created their first. Barba weaved his way around the Salford defence and Mark Percival finished in the corner but the centre couldn’t add the extras.
Manu Vatuvei went over in the corner with ten minutes of the half remaining but video referee Phil Bentham ruled it out as Vatuvei was adjudged to have knocked-on in the build-up. Unfortunately, for the Red Devils St Helens went down the other end and scored as Alex Walmsley barged his way over from close-range.
Moments late Walmsley looked to lead with the elbow which sent Jordan Walne off for a concussion check and forward couldn’t return to the field for the remainder of the game. However, James Child only put the incident on report. But, he did make the decision to send Lannon from the field a minute later for a late challenge on Theo Fages following the Frenchman’s kick.
After the interval, the Red Devils defended bravely keeping St Helens out for seven goal-line defensive sets and kept in touching distance until the final twenty minutes. Zeb Taia managed to break Salford’s resilience as he spun over the line. With ten minutes left Walmsley forced his way over for a second before Barba jinked his way over to seal St Helens’ place in the top four.
Salford: Evalds, Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Vatuvei; Lui, O’Brien; Murray, Tomkins, Hauraki, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, McCarthy. Interchanges: Kopczak, Brining, Lannon, J. Walne.
Saints: Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Douglas, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Knowles, Wilkin. Interchanges: Smith, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Peyroux.