SAINTS coach Kristian Woolf had plenty to say on the Sione Mata’utia red card in the Huddersfield game and the subsequent suspension when the Star's Mike Critchley caught up with him.

Woolf also gave an update on where the club was up to with a replacement for Regan Grace and his thoughts on playing teams facing relegation.

MC: What did you make of the whole incident that resulted in Sione Mata’utia being sent off?

KW: I can’t condone what Sione has done.

One thing that the MRC have been consistent and clear about is how they have charged those incidents.

I have no complaints about that whatsoever.

What I do have an issue with is the inconsistency of how things are being handled in terms of cards.

There have been three incidences of that kind of incident in Super League this year – and other cases last year and the year before. Over the past three years that is the only red card that has been handed out.

That is an inconsistency straight away.

St Helens Star:

That means that while I say that the MRC are being consistent with the way they are charged, our players are being disciplined at a higher level than any other player because it is not just missing the three weeks after, but he has missed 65 minutes of the game on the weekend so has been given double punishment.

The other thing is if you look at how cards are being handed out in the last few weeks then we have a red card for the Sione incident – but two weeks ago against Catalans there were two reds that were not given and we saw a yellow and no card instead.

We go back to Good Friday and an incident that is given six weeks, (Sam Powell) but the player is only given a yellow.

We are just not getting those right and we are too inconsistent.

If it is a game that is not on TV and we only get one look at it then I understand that, but that has not been the case with those cases above and they have had plenty of angles to get it right.

That causes dramas for everyone because it affects the results of games.

The third part that I get frustrated by, was there was no foul play. What we do need to have a look at players lying down and playing for penalties.

We can call it whatever we want but at the end of the day it is bending rules to try and get an advantage. That is the case with the incident at the weekend and that is the cause of the frustration. It is something we are going to have to look at with regards to how we stop that and manage that in our game.

St Helens Star:

MC: Do we need to look at how behaviour changes for TV games - and measures to correct that?

KW: Players are more likely to lie down in a TV game to try and draw a penalty, but if players are going to lie down and claim they have been hit around the head then they should have to leave the field for a head assessment.

That is what that rule is there for. If they have been hit hard enough to stop the game and to lie down, then they should have to leave the field.

St Helens Star:

When Curtis Sironen was hit around the head against Wigan – that resulted in a red card, but Curtis left the field with a head knock and meant we put an inexperienced player on the left edge and Jai Field broke through and Wigan scored a try there five minutes later.

That is the impact there should be if players are going to lie down and claim they have been hit around the head. That is what we need to bring in to stop the feigning of injury.

Most rules that are brought in see people smart in the way they find ways around them – and that is what has happened with players and coaches finding ways of manipulating those things.

We need to close as many doors as we can to make it as difficult to find a way around those rules.

St Helens Star:

MC: Have you had time to run the rule over a replacement for Regan Grace yet?

KW: We have had a look at what may or may not be available. And have looked in the market over here and will look in the market in Australia as well.

What we are also going to be is a be extremely patient in getting the right player. We do have to replace Regan – there is no doubt that we need to bring a player in to make sure we continue our success and keep strong going forward.

We need to replace him with quality and are not going to rush out and get someone who does not quite fit, be that footy wise and class wise or someone who does not fit into the ethos of our group as a person.

We are going to be patient and have a fair bit of time until the season starts – it is such a fluid sort of market these days where what is available now may not be the case in a month or two.

We have the ability to be patient and know that we have good players who can fill voids if needs be – but we are on the lookout to bring someone in.

St Helens Star:

MC: You have had four high-profile games, what challenge does this next block of games bring?

KW: We are playing desperate teams. Teams that are trying to avoid relegation and teams that want to cement a spot in the top six.

We are preparing to put ourselves in the frame for the big games and give ourselves an opportunity to play in the final at the end of the year.

Our desperation, desire and excitement to make sure we are motivated to play at our best needs to exceed the opposition’s motivation to try and avoid relegation or get into the six.

As long as we do that, we know we have got the quality to make sure the results go our way.

St Helens Star:

MC: You face a Wakefield side threatened by relegation, what do you make of relegation?

KW: It is extremely tough. It is not something I have been familiar with until coming over here – and not something I would like to be involved with given the pressure.

It is something that personally I think we need to look at in terms of how we strengthen the competition here and stop it being a cycle of teams coming up and down.

I don’t think it is good for the competition, but can see the attraction from the fans point of view.

Smarter people than me need to look at the system – but when a club comes up they need to be given the opportunity to establish themselves.

The way you recruit to win Championship is different to the way you recruit to stay in Super League.

So too is the amount of work that needs to be done and the level that you play at. For a team to make the most of that they certainly need more than 12 months to actually give themselves a chance of establishing themselves in Super League.

That is a general basis of how a team becomes competitive and successful in Super League.