St Helens boss Paul Wellens on Morgan Knowles red card

Drew Darbyshire
Morgan Knowles St Helens SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

St Helens coach Paul Wellens admitted Morgan Knowles’ red card ‘took the gloss off’ their win over Halifax in the Challenge Cup.

The world champions booked their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a 26-6 win over Championship side Halifax – but it came at a cost.

Knowles, who was playing in his first game back from a five-match suspension, was sent off in the final minute of the game for a high tackle on Halifax hooker Tom Inman.

When asked by Kyle Amor on Viaplay Sports whether Morgan Knowles’ red card took the gloss off the win, Wellens replied: “It does. I’ve not seen the incident (back), I only saw it live so I can’t comment too much on that but it takes the gloss off because discipline has been a problem for us and we need to fix it up.

“Obviously the decision has been made and we have to accept that now but I was probably very happy until around 78 minutes.

“Things like that happen in sport but we’ve got certain players within our group who kind of need to have a look at the way they approach certain situations.

“Again, I won’t comment too much on that actual incident because I’ve commented in the past and been wrong so I’ll reserve judgement until I see it again.”

The incident will be assessed by the Rugby Football League’s match review panel on Monday, where Knowles will learn his fate.

Paul Wellens happy with Halifax win

The Saints led 16-0 at the break thanks to first half tries from Joey Lussick, Jake Wingfield and Tommy Makinson.

Wellens’ side posted further tries in the second half through Jack Welsby and Lussick before Halifax scored a well-deserved try in the latter stages through Jacob Fairbank.

Speaking to Viaplay Sports after the game, Wellens said: “Overall very happy. It is a difficult place to come Halifax, I know that from my own playing days and things haven’t changed. We knew we had to prepare well and perform well.

“I’ve got to pay huge credit to Halifax for the way they performed and their intent from minute one to minute 80 was there all the way through the game so they certainly made it difficult for us at times.

“Very happy in a lot of respects. I spoke to the group before the game about being patient and backing the way we play and that’s getting through our sets and kicking the ball well, I thought Lewis Dodd did a good job there.

“And the longer the game went on the more opportunities we were creating and that’s somewhat like the way we want to play.

“I thought at the back end of the second half we got a bit loose and sloppy, that’s an area for us to fix up on but all in all, pretty happy.”

St Helens will discover their Challenge Cup quarter-final opponents in Sunday night’s draw, live on the BBC after the Castleford-Hull game.

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