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Ex-Super League official has say on crucial yellow card in St Helens defeat

Paul Wellens’ St Helens side now have as many losses as they have wins as the Champions endure a difficult start to life under Paul Wellens.

As they lost to Hull KR last night, Wellens explained what went wrong on Saints TV:

“Field position and we were large contributors to that with too many errors. I’m a coach that doesn’t mind making errors if you’re making them in the right way, like if you don’t nail a pass to a winger for a try I can accept it.

“What we had tonight was too many concentration errors, losing ball in contact or from a straight drop. that’s an area that we need to tidy up on.

“I said to the players that if we are a little bit more disciplined and we do hold the ball for longer periods that what we got in the last 10 minutes, we might have got 15 to 20 minutes earlier.

“We were the contributors of our own downfall in some respects. We weren’t patient enough and we didn’t have the concentration levels enough to afford us those opportunities early on.”

A key moment in the game was also the sin bin of Matty Lees.

However, unlike against Leigh Leopards, Wellens was unwilling to blame Lees until he watched it back:

“It’s never ideal when you lose a player in that fashion. I probably need to be careful because when Matty Lees was sin-binned against Leigh a few weeks ago I was critical of his discipline. I then watched it back and realised that it actually shouldn’t have been a sin bin.

“I’ve not actually had the opportunity to watch the incident back so I’ll reserve judgement until I see it, but Matty Lees is a player who is invaluable to us and he showed that tonight.

“Whether he’s got one right or wrong there I’m not sure.”

Now former Super League official Ian Smith has had his say on the incident on social media.

Looking at the clip, Smith is unsure whether it was a yellow card and said it was a tough one for the officials to decipher.

He said: “Tough one to call to be honest. Hitting the ball carrier at that speed is reckless & any contact with the head would be a sin bin min. The footage doesn’t show clearly where contact was, the ball carrier didn’t seem injured, at that impact u would expect him to go down if high.

“I can’t slow down the footage to see contact, having said that, the officials don’t see it in slow motion to be fair to them.”

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