St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf has called for more consistency with red cards following Sione Mata’utia’s marching orders against Huddersfield.
The back-rower was sent off after 16 minutes during Round 19 for interfering with an injured player.
The 26-year-old has received a three-match ban with a Grade C charge for lifting an injured Danny Levi on the ground.
Woolf accepts the suspension handed to his international star, but believes there should be more consistency with the card shown to the player.
Kristian Woolf calls for more card consistency
“I’ve got no dramas whatsoever with the fact that there’s a card there,” Woolf said. “I can certainly appreciate where we’re going with that.
“I think the MRP (match review panel) have been extremely consistent with the way that they’ve charged them this year.
“Sione (Mata’utia) learns a valuable lesson there. He’s got to learn to control his emotions when he is frustrated in those situations.
“What I do think that we need to be better at as a game and as a competition is, we need to get some consistency in how we’re going to deal with those things on field.
“The fact is that that’s the first red card in our competition for that sort of action.
“That creates a bit of inconsistency. I mentioned before that they’ve all been charged the same to get the consistency and the number of games that you’re out for afterwards.
“But the fact is that Sione has been dealt a harsher blow there. That needs to come into consideration somewhere. We certainly need to get some consistency there.”
Woolf on play-acting
The Tonga international boss also shared his disappointment with play-acting that has crept into the sport.
“We’ve got to have a look at how are we going to get situations out of our game where players play-act and play to injuries to try and get results, particularly when they know it’s TV games,” he added.
“That’s what that situation was. And that’s why Sione responds the way we did it, because he knows there’s no foul play. He knows that the player is playing for a penalty.
“That is frustrating the players. We’ve got to look at how we get that out of the game. It’s not what we want and not what the game is built on.
“I’m not going to condone Sione’s actions or the way he’s reacted. But the reality is that the person who’s trying to bend the rules, to bend them in his favour, leads to that situation and then gets rewarded for that. That’s not what we want to see.”