Last night Phil Clarke got fans talking when he reacted to Matty Lees’ post-match comments.
Lees made a huge 68 tackles in an 80 minute display at prop as St Helens defeated Huddersfield Giants 14-12.
After this, Clarke said that he felt the Saints slowed down the ruck too much deliberately forcing set restarts in order to win the game describing it as “effectively cheating” and likening it to a game last season against Salford Red Devils:
“They played a game last year against Salford at the end where they effectively cheated at the end to win the match in the league match.
“I do think that the game needs to be stricter at penalising sides that are purposefully holding down players or concede penalties or six agains near to their own try line.”
Clarke then added that he feels there needs to be yellow cards for these kinds of infringements:
“We need to see more yellow cards for that type of behaviour.”
Interestingly, there have been examples of this such as in a different Salford game last year when Sitaleki Akauola was sin binned against Leeds Rhinos for repeated six agains.
Former Super League official Richard Silverwood echoed Clarke’s opinion saying that St Helens’ antics showed why the rule needs scrapping as he said on Twitter:
“Matty Lees nailed it, aim was to slow ruck down, we gave a few six again but it stopped them scoring. Exactly why six again needs scrapping.”
Hooray… The 6 again in my opinion is killing the game along with lateral scrums and handovers. There is only one tactic now 5 drives and a bomb adnausium.. Bin the rule give a full penalty and for unprofessional behaviour a yellow card.
It seems strange, it’s normally other teams that try to slow saints down, edwards ( in Clarks day ) when tackled used to hold the shirt of the tackler, to try to get a penalty. You play to the referee, if they let you get away with it, you keep doing it. Sour grapes from Clarke, trying to help Wigan out by raising this to referees. Keep it shut clarkey, just commentate