LOSING Mark Percival for tonight’s clash at Leeds is a big blow - especially for such a daft offence.

For those who have not seen it, Saints had defended the line for four sets and then it finally cracked when a deep (very deep from some angles) kick was touched down by Niall Evalds.

That looked like game over - and in frustration Percival picked the ball up and kicked it, miscuing it into the midriff of referee Scott Mikalauskas.

Yes, he was not looking and sure he did not mean it, but he was rightly charged for an action that was against the spirit of the game.

In his defence he did apologise on the half way line and it was clear from the way he was looking that it was unintentional, but still you would say that Justin Holbrook and Mike Rush, who accompanied him to the disciplinary hearing on Tuesday have done well to get the ban knocked down to one-match and a £300 fine.

Such a Grade C offence usually carries two to three matches.

The charge sheet from the weekend’s games featured another one involving the referee with Leeds’ Danny McGuire directing foul language towards the official after a Castleford try.

He will cancel out Percival’s absence by also being banned, also for one game, so he misses the game tonight.

The match review panel is right to bring players to book who abuse the refs.

One of the biggest attractions of rugby league over the years has been the respect shown to the man in the middle compared to sports like football.

For years we have seen players chasing after football refs after they have or have not awarded penalties.

Rugby league never had that.

If you back-chatted a ref you were marched 10 yards upfield.

If you had sworn at Billy Thompson and Fred Lindop I reckon you would have been getting first use of the soap.

It is not just about abusing the refs or questioning their decisions, it is the other little things that are now creeping into the game.

In the highlights of a game on Saturday one player was seen waving 10 fingers in the air after his team mate had been held down.

Refs have touch judges, they don’t need 26 assistants on the field giving an opinion.

Rugby league has always had a special place, a tough game but one that was based on respect for the man making the calls.

Sure, there have been some howlers in the refereeing stakes and they get pulled apart by pundits they don’t need players putting their oar in.