St Helens and Huddersfield coaches react to Sione Mata’utia red card

Drew Darbyshire
Sione Mata'utia St Helens

St Helens forward Sione Mata’utia was sent off 16 minutes into their 25-0 win over Huddersfield for interfering with an injured player. 

The Samoa international was given his marching orders by referee Chris Kendall early doors for lifting Giants hooker Danny Levi as he lay injured on the ground.

Mata’utia had only successfully overturned a one-match ban earlier this week for a high tackle to keep his place in the team.

Halifax forward Titus Gwaze was handed an eight-match ban earlier this week for a similar offence on Barrow’s Hakim Miloudi. Levi was actually given a two-match ban for something along the same lines earlier this season.

Woolf says he understands the clampdown on lifting injured players, but wants the rule to be looked at in more detail by the Rugby Football League.

He said: “I understand where we’re going there but we’ve not quite got it right. It’s not even a high shot to start with.

“Blokes are lying on the ground trying to milk penalties and we’re reacting or over-reacting to that. We’ve just got to get these decisions right.”

Meanwhile, Huddersfield coach Ian Watson thought it was a harsh red card but said they are the rules.

Watson said: “I thought it was harsh but the rule is you can’t touch an injured player. Danny got a two-match ban for touching someone’s collar earlier in the season.”


Woolf: We found another gear after Sione Mata’utia red card

Woolf was over the moon with his side’s effort to nil top-four challengers Huddersfield with a man short for more than an hour.

Saints forward Morgan Knowles was sin-binned late on for using his elbows – but the champions remained in control to maintain their unbeaten home record this season.

Woolf said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the effort. I thought they were outstanding.

“We had a great energy about us from the start. When we had the red card, we found another gear and we had to. The effort always shows through your defence.

“We made sure they didn’t find points and, when they got on the outside, we scrambled really hard. That type of performance will help us at the back end of the year.”

PODCAST: Adrian Morley on enforcer Morgan Knowles, disciplinary tightropes & NRL memories

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