Ian Watson has his say on Matty Lees

The disciplinary this week was certainly interesting after Leigh Leopards and Hull KR collided in the Challenge Cup Final and Huddersfield Giants headed over to St Helens for the only Super League clash of the weekend.

However, this game was hugely controversial with Matty English sin binned for a cannon ball tackle but before he could return to the field, teammate and former Wigan Warriors star Joe Greenwood was sent off for leading with the elbow.

That said, this incident was hugely controversial, with Ian Watson suggesting that it was started by an illegal tackle from the Saints and he would be proven right with Matty Lees banned for two games but of course this doesn’t help the Giants.

Following this, Watson said:

“Yeah, it just frustrates us a little bit because, obviously you don’t want players banned, you just want them to be pulled up for things they do in the game. We just felt that situation, we should have had a penalty; we shouldn’t have had a penalty against us and a sin binning.

“So now obviously Matty Lees appealed last night and he’s lost his case, so he misses two games now which is no benefit, like everyone says, it’s no benefit to our game.

“It was at that moment that we felt it would have been better being pulled up and then we get a penalty we’re probably attacking their try line, and maybe they’re down to 12 men when Matty Lees gets sin bin for the high shot.”

What Ian Watson didn’t know at the time was the fact St Helens confirmed an intention to appeal the ban again.

They stated:

“Prop forward Matty Lees received a two-match penalty notice for a Grade C ‘High Tackle’ charge from the Match Review Panel, this decision was upheld by the Operational Rules Tribunal. However, the Club will be appealing the decision on Tuesday night, following the result of which the Saints’ 21st man in the squad shall be named.”

This means they have right now only named a 20 man squad for Friday’s game against Hull KR.

Last night the Saints released this statement:

“St Helens prop Matty Lees has been unsuccessful in his appeal against a two-match penalty notice for a Grade C ‘High Tackle’ charge in the Saints’ win over Huddersfield Giants last Sunday.
Lees pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to the Operational Rules Tribunal on Tuesday night, but the independent tribunal upheld the Match Review Panel’s decision and he has also been fined £500.

“This means Lees will miss this Friday’s home clash with Hull KR, and next week’s visit to Castleford.”

The following players have accepted penalty notices imposed by the Match Review Panel.

Chris Hill (Huddersfield Giants) – High Tackle – Grade – N/A
Joe Greenwood (Huddersfield Giants) – Striking – Grade B – £250 fine
Oliver Russell (Huddersfield Giants) – Dangerous Contact – Grade B – £250 fine
Michael Knowles (Hunslet) – Dangerous Contact – Grade C – 1 match
Lewis Hall (Swinton Lions) – Dangerous Contact – Grade C – 1 match
Lewis Young (Keighley Cougars) – High Tackle – Grade C – 1 match
Kieran Taylor (North Wales Crusaders) – Dangerous Contact – Grade C – 1 match
Ellis Robson (Keighley Cougars) – Dangerous Contact – Grade B – £125 fine
Connor Carr (Oldham) – Dangerous Throw – Grade B – £40 fine
Joey Leilua (Featherstone Rovers) – Strike – Grade A – NFA