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

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.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8177 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.


  1. Refs need to clamp down on play acting being injured. Farrell of Wigan does it every match and cost Huddersfield the Cup.Tried it against Saints at magic weekend.

  2. Always Wigan, from St Helens Fans, last night St Helens were not SAINTS quite a d=few times, I look forward to seeing the decision of last night’s red car, as I was shocked last week Mata’utia was cleared. How do referees act if someone is play acting? lifting them if they are seriously inured could have serious consequences. I expect a 2 match ban.

    • Joke
      What is it coming to when a player is moving his arms etc , sione knows he’s play acting , trys to gently bring him up , levi gets up within a minute knowing full well sione is walking …..the RFL will punish sione quite strongly but the play acting player will continue to play act .
      I’m a neutral btw but this is ruining our game .

  3. Answer: If a player stays down after any incident, then regardless if it is genuine or feigned, then he must leave the field for 10 minutes. I am sure this would stop the cheating.

  4. What are the RFL trying to turn the game into, it is a contact sport for Christ’s sake there isn’t one player who doesn’t expect to get hurt its why they play the game trying to hurt their opponent. If players want to get fellow players sent off Association Football is the sport you need.

  5. What happened to the green card, unless a player is seriously injured, as soon as physio comes on The green card should be shown and he goes off for 2-5 mins. This would stop all the play acting and cheating

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