St Helens are battling with Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards for a spot in the top two and a home semi-final in the play-offs as they look to win a fifth consecutive Grand Final and have key games coming up against Castleford Tigers and Hull KR.
However, they suffered a blow when Matty Lees was hit with a two match suspension by the match review panel.
This blow was exacerbated by the fact Saints have lost Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi for the rest of the season.
Lees was banned for a high tackle at the start of an incident in the clash against Huddersfield Giants last week.
The game was a postponed Round One fixture due to Saints’ World Club Challenge clash with Penrith Panthers.
In it, Joe Greenwood was sent off for leading with the elbow but Ian Watson suggested that the incident was started by the Saints and the Match Review Panel deemed that Lees had tackled him high banning Lees for two games.
Saints appealed the decision tonight and were unsuccessful. As such, Lees was handed a further £500 fine.
The Saints made the following 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