Ian Watson speaks to RFL after St Helens’ use of six again rule

Huddersfield Giants are battling with Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils with a battle for the play-off spots.

But Ian Watson’s side suffered a major blow when they lost to Super League and World Champions St Helens.

The Saints defeated the Giants who were reduced to 11 men for a period. Matty English was sin binned and just before he came onto the field again Joe Greenwood was sent off for leading with the elbow.

However, Ian Watson was also unhappy with St Helens’ use of the six again rule and thus he spoke to the RFL after the game:

“We’ve sent a message and we’ve received an email back just talking about the incident and a few other things that went on in that game that we weren’t quite happy with, obviously I spoke out after the game about the six again rule on the first tackle, which I just think is a ridiculous rule.

“In the NRL, it’s a penalty, and there’s no deterrent in this competition for you to just pile four men in and lie on in that first tackle, but then you get a completely set defensive line so you can organise your defence and make sure you can read what they’re doing in attack.

“There’s no advantage, it slows the game down, it’s not what the six-again rule was made to do. Whereas in the NRL, you do that on the first tackle, you get a penalty against you, you’re now defending your goal line. There’s a deterrent in there in the NRL, whereas there’s not one in the Super League for that. It 100% needs looking at that rule for me.”

He was happy about some elements of the game however:

“Yeah, we spoke about how we wanted to start, we didn’t do that and we gave St Helens a real leg up and that just rocked us for a little bit.

“Once we started to tidy up a couple of little things we started to get a little bit of a feel for the game and we started to complete a few sets and build a little bit of pressure then. Obviously the sending off happened, but the one big thing that passed on there was kind of the way the boys reacted for each other and the work ethic and they stuck true to what we asked them to do.

“Even the attack, there was a man down in the attack, but we were able to open up St Helens a few times on the back end of it. So yeah, there was a lot of positives. The biggest one being the desire and the amount of commitment that the players showed while they were down to 12 men really.

“But like I say, we probably shouldn’t have been in that position. I felt we were just starting to get a little bit of a fall back in the game at that point as well, because we’ve rectified what we’ve done wrong at the start of the game.”