Ian Watson claims Huddersfield Giants were penalised for wanting to speak to referee Ben Thaler

Huddersfield Giants suffered a blow as they battle with Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils for the play-offs as they suffered a 32-18 defeat to St Helens on Sunday.

It was a game where everything went against them. The Giants lost Matty English to a yellow card for a cannonball tackle before Joe Greenwood was sent off for leading with the elbow.

Making matters worse, the Giants felt like they were on the wrong end of six agains which led to a penalty in the words of Ian Watson as Nathan Peats questioned Ben Thaler.

“I asked Nathan Peats about this and he said he was asking Ben Thaler a question about the ruck and the six agains and about people lying in the ruck,” he said on BBC Radio Leeds.

“Apparently Ben has answered him and then he said he’s asked the question again about them then lying in the ruck rather than the six again and then he’s just pinged him, so that’s what we’ve been told at the moment.

“I get you might not want talking to but make it pretty clear before the game that you don’t want anyone to talk to you, but surely a professional player that level of player anyway he’s asking you a question surely there’s a dialogue between referees and players that go on in the field. There always has been before.”

Watson also spoke about the penalty count in general:

“There were some of them, but if we get penalties for whacking people directly in the face, then the penalty count obviously levels out. Because we’ve got a penalty given away there because Joe Greenwood has been sent off, but Joe Greenwood’s been hit straight directly in the face first, so that would have been one less for us, one more on theirs.

“I think there’s a few things there. We’re not a dirty team by any stretch of the imagination. I think the one where Ritson got brought off for a head knock he’s come down low and he’s kind of caught the arm on that, so you’re not allowed to touch the head. So we’ve been received a penalty on the back of that.

“Why has Joe Greenwood, why has that been blown a penalty straight away? There’s things that get missed there, I understand that, but when you’re playing in a game like that, things have got to be at a certain level.”