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“I can’t accept” – St Helens boss Paul Wellens frustrated by Super League officiating

St Helens boss Paul Wellens

Hull KR are on a roll at the moment, and St Helens were the latest side to fall short against the in-form Robins.

Saints lost 40-20 at Craven Park, unable to handle the inspired Mikey Lewis. It was a damaging defeat for the Red Vee, with the manner of the defeat a particular concern for a team build on defensive solidity.

It was the second time in three weeks St Helens has been beaten convincingly, following a humbling loss to Warrington in the Challenge Cup.

After the match, St Helens head coach, Paul Wellens, was not a happy man and though he was typically honest about the shortcomings of his team, he was also upset with the match officials.

Wellens called out the officials for a key decision which went against his side, requesting the game to be officiated more consistently going forward.

He cited a call from the referee during the game that has not been followed up by the RFL’s Disciplinary Panel this week.

St Helens boss left to rue key call

Morgan Knowles received a yellow card in the 16th minute, for a high shot on Jai Whitbread. Knowles was seen questioning the referee’s decision before leaving the field.

However, the RFL Match Review Panel decided that Knowles would not face a ban after the game. Speaking in the St Helens Star, Wellens questioned the call.

“When I watched it live, I didn’t think it was a penalty, but I can understand that it happens very quick at the time so I can understand the referee giving a penalty in that in in that situation.

“But then what I can’t understand is how we watch it. We slow it down, we see it again and we’re mitigating it down from a red card to a yellow.

“When it goes to the match review panel, it’s not even a charge, so it should have been mitigated down from a penalty to non-penalty if it was ever going to get mitigated at all.

“But a penalty was given and I can accept that, but I can’t accept the yellow card on top of it.”

Knowles may still miss Tigers clash

St Helens face a trip to Castleford Tigers on Friday night. They will be hoping to get back to winning ways after last week’s defeat.

Saints are one of six teams locked together on 14 points at the top of the Super League table. However, despite avoiding a ban, St Helens may go into the fixture without Knowles.

The England forward has missed training sessions this week with a muscle injury. He is therefore doubtful for Friday’s crucial match.

It’s a game in which Saints will be expected to win, but given the recent improvement of the Tigers it could be a potential banana skin for Wellens as the pressure creeps up on a team that sets very high standards.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. John

    May 8, 2024 at 7:21 pm

    Get a life, Paul. Theses things happen and I don’t think you’d be surprised to know most of the Stivers contingent think it was the review panel who made the mistake.

    • John

      May 8, 2024 at 7:23 pm

      If only I had smaller fingers. -ROVERS contingent

    • John

      May 8, 2024 at 7:23 pm

      If only I had smaller fingers. -ROVERS contingent

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