LIKE many Wire fans – and I am sure Hull KR supporters were the same – I have watched the video of Blake Austin’s yellow-card tackle on Joel Tomkins countless times.

As the weekend went on, I became less and less convinced that The Wire’s marquee half-back would be banned for what happened in the 27th minute of Saturday’s game, and so it came to pass.

I stand by my opinion that the challenge looked nasty in real time from the North Stand at The Halliwell Jones Stadium – a similar angle from which the tough judge, who is said to have advised referee Liam Moore to show a yellow card, would have seen the incident.

However, the video footage proved inconclusive – certainly not enough to rule that any contact with Tomkins’ head was anything but accidental.

We must now move on from the incident – and how it is moved on from will be interesting to watch unfold.

It will now be common knowledge – if it was not already – that Austin is not your average half-back in terms of build. He is far from the easy target third man in from the touchline that creative players are often perceived to be.

We have seen that the playmaker hits as hard as he runs – a half-back in a second rower’s body if you will.

In the opening two games, Austin has now had three incidents looked at by the RFL’s Match Review Panel.

Even if none of them have resulted in a suspension, it is clear he will be a watched man from now on.

Warrington Guardian:

Blake Austin may be a watched man in disciplinary terms from now on. Picture by Mike Boden

Perhaps, though, this process is a little natural.

Austin is still adapting to the European game. With any new recruit, it takes a little bit of time to get used to things and that includes what is and is not frowned upon in terms of contact with your opponent.

If anything, this may accelerate the learning process because while the disciplinary process in this country is often attacked for its inconsistency, the furore surrounding this particular incident and the decision to let Austin off a charge is unlikely to see the panel show lenience should his name come across their desk again.

In collective terms, The Wire have now had 10 incidents looked at by the panel in two games and have already lost Ben Westwood and Toby King to suspensions.

Steve Price wants his side to play with aggression and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, rugby league is first and foremost a physical battle.

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They have the creative players to cause extensive damage to teams, but they have to earn the right to play and that is done by winning the arm-wrestle up front.

However, sometimes that approach flirts with the line of legality. Most sides do it, but The Wire are currently falling foul of it.

It is not something Price will want to become a habit, but sometimes finding a balance can be difficult.

That is something that can start to be worked on now as Wolves are not in action again until they travel to Huddersfield on February 22.

The break is obviously a good chance to build yet more familiarity in training and rest up any bruised bones, but I cannot help but think it has come at a bad time for Warrington.

Having picked up maximum points from their opening two games, Price and his side will no doubt be keen to grow the momentum they have built up since the season began.

I am not for one minute suggesting the players have not earned their break – anyone who willingly puts their body on the line for our entertainment deserves all the time off they can get – but they will surely have wanted to get back out there this weekend.

Still, it gives Austin and Dec Patton extra time on the training pitch to work on their partnership as it is probably the one area of the Wire team that still has question marks around it.

The club have shown plenty of faith in Patton as Kevin Brown’s replacement by holding off using their newly-granted salary cap dispensation. It is time for him to deliver.

Warrington Guardian:

Dec Patton will be given every chance to strike up an effective partnership with Blake Austin. Picture by Mike Boden