Why pair of St Helens stars avoided bans after England’s 94-4 win over Greece

England are heading into the knockout stages of the Rugby League World Cup this week as Shaun Wane’s side prepare for a quarter-final clash with Papua New Guinea at Wigan Warriors’ DW Stadium.

There are some big calls for Shaun Wane to make namely on the wing with a choice between Dom Young and Ryan Hall whilst Marc Sneyd could have potentially done enough to secure his place in the 17 for the quarter-final clash though Wane may stick with his first choice spine of George Williams, Jack Welsby and Sam Tomkins.

However, he was very nearly forced into some decisions by bans with two of his key forwards nearly hit by bans.

The two are Matty Lees and Morgan Knowles. The duo have been crucial pillars of St Helens’ four Super League titles in a row and have impressed in the World Cup so far with Knowles impressing off the bench against Greece with a lovely pass which helped lead to a try for Dom Young.

Meanwhile, Lees scored against Greece and both seem to be in Wane’s strongest 17 after they featured against Samoa in the opening game.

However, both were cited by the match review panel this week.

Matty Lees was cited for a strike to the head but fortunately avoided a ban for the following reason: “Player is coming across to make a tackle and after the ball is spilled. Opponent getting up at
the same time. No promotion of the shoulder by player. Accidental contact.”

Meanwhile, Knowles unsurprisingly was cited for a late hit on a kicker which yielded a penalty in the game.

He avoided a ban for this reason: “Player is late but contact is minimal and knocks opponent off balance.”

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