St Helens were reduced to 12 men three times last night against Leeds Rhinos.
The first came as Sione Mata’utia hit Aidan Sezer late.
The halfback was also forced off the field due to a Head Injury Assessment.
It is all too similar for Sezer to the semi-final clash against Wigan Warriors last year which saw him miss the Grand Final against the Saints.
The incident this time was missed by most as the Rhinos put together a nice set play with a smart Richie Myler grubbering at the end of it forcing a goal line drop out.
But after Mata’utia and Sezer were left on the ground with Mata’utia needing tap around a cut on his head.
However, despite being the one with the cut, he was sin binned whilst Sezer went off with a head injury assessment.
Mata’utia was sin binned because of the flexion of Sezer’s head after the collision.
In the past it has yielded a long ban.
In his absence Leeds scored a 100 metre try exploiting the space with Nene MacDonald getting around the Saints defence with Jon Bennison on the left.
It came after passes from Cameron Smith and Richie Myler created space for MacDonald he then found support in Myler who then found Handley as he jinked past Jonny Lomax to score.
Saints boss Paul Wellens would go on to question the decision.
Wellens said on Saints TV when asked about the cards his side received:
“I thought the first one with Sione, they are told that with inside pressure that they need to attempt to make a tackle and I think there was a clear attempted tackle. I would have to look at the all again a bit more closely and a bit more in-depth.
“Discipline for us was a real problem last season and it was again out there against Leeds, so we’ll look at where we can improve because those decisions will continue to get made if we want to keep putting ourselves in those positions.”
Phil Clarke meanwhile said on Sky Sports that Mata’utia was lucky that it wasn’t a red card as Sezer could have been seriously injured.
He said it was dangerous play: “It was over aggressive and ill-disciplined. He missed 10 minutes, I think he will miss more in the coming weeks when the disciplinary panel consider the foul play there.
“He was late in the tackle and the game is trying to eradicate this aspect from the game as a player passes the ball, unsighted, hit from behind, he could have been very seriously injured.
“Luckily Aidan Sezer is okay and has returned to the field.
“That is dangerous play and he is very lucky that card is yellow.”