Saints forward snubbed for Man of Steel points despite monster performance

Josh McAllister
Matty Lees, St Helens. News Images

Photo by Craig Thomas/News Images.

Despite his 80 minute performance against Huddersfield that saw him complete 68 tackles, Matty Lees did not receive a single Man of Steel point following the latest Super League round.

Lees’ effort saw him claim the player of the match on Sky Sports at the John Smith’s Stadium in the 14-12 victory.

A rare 80 minute performance for a front-rower, the England international deservedly received high praise from his head coach in Paul Wellens following the away win.

However, the maximum Man of Steel points for the fixture were instead given to team-mate Konrad Hurrell.

Tonga international Hurrell, 31, opened the scoring during the Round Six clash, joined on the scoresheet by winger Tommy Makinson.

Despite their defeat, Huddersfield’s Olly Russell and Ash Golding received the remaining two and one Man of Steel points on offer respectively.

It’s a somewhat surprise decision made by the Man of Steel panel that includes the likes of Ellery Hanley MBE, Kyle Amor, Luke Gale and Danika Priim.

It also came as an eye-opener for head coach Wellens, who believes 25-year-old Lees was among the best players on the field.

Paul Wellens on Matty Lees Man of Steel snub

“I’m not sure how anyone can watch that game and not see that Matt was the stand-out player on the field in terms of what he delivered,” Wellens told Love Rugby League.

“But I suppose it does raise a bit of a question of what actually is valued in terms of Man of Steel points.

“I know myself as a coach, I couldn’t be more happy with Matty. He was certainly our stand-out performer on the night.

“What we have within our group is that we have a group of players who don’t get too carried away with Man of Steel points and who sits where.

“What’s more important for our team is how hard they work for each other and getting a result.

“And selfless performances like what Matty produced on Thursday night are more important to us that someone picking up three tries and getting three Man of Steel points. It’s not really what interests us as a team.”

Warrington’s George Williams has claimed the top spot on the Man of Steel leaderboard over Jordan Abdull. The England international has 11 points to his name, with Hull KR’s Abdull now second with nine.

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