Paul Wellens orders St Helens players to tighten up on their discipline

Paul Wellens orders St Helens players to tighten up on their discipline

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens has ordered his side to tighten up on their discipline after three players were suspended in the wake of Friday night’s stormy Betfred Super League defeat to Leeds Rhinos.

Wellens revealed his club have decided not to appeal the verdicts of the Match Review Panel, which will see Konrad Hurrell and Sione Mata’utia sidelined for the next two matches and Curtis Sironen for one.

The newly-crowned world champions saw their hopes of a glorious homecoming shattered by a late Leeds surge that culminated in Blake Austin kicking the decisive drop-goal to seal a 25-24 victory with 18 seconds left on the clock.

St Helens v Leeds Rhinos – Betfred Super League – Totally Wicked Stadium
Blake Austin kicked a late winner as Leeds Rhinos capitalised on St Helens’ indiscipline (Martin Rickett/PA)

Moments earlier, Hurrell had been sent off for a late hit on Richie Myler, while Mata’utia and Sironen were sin-binned for indiscretions earlier in the game.

Wellens said: “We feel they were fair. We looked at all three incidents to decide whether to appeal or not and we’ve decided not to do that.

“What we need to do is look at how we can improve, and those players in particular and the rest of the team fell short in our discipline on Friday.

“Those players know they need to be better and they’ve acknowledged that, so we’ve started the process of working on where we can improve, and I hope we can get those improvements sooner rather than later.”

James Roby File Photo
James Roby is set to return for St Helens against Leigh on Friday (Martin Rickett/PA)

Wellens has had some better news ahead of Friday night’s trip to newly-promoted Leigh with James Roby and prop Agnatius Paasi both likely to return after injuries.

“We need to channel our frustrations in the right way,” added Wellens. “I love the fact that our players are upset and I love the fact they care and they’re desperate to win.

“That’s what makes us successful. But at the same time, when things don’t go our way, we need to handle them a little better at times.”