Resilient Saints are brimming with self-confidence as they set their sights on the last eight fixtures in the regular Super League season.
Despite the 16th minute dismissal of Sione Mata’utia and a subsequent injury to the unlucky Willie Hopoate, which forced the league leaders into making a number of positional switches, they showed no mercy to a Huddersfield Giants’ side which arrived at the Totally Wicked Stadium with only five defeats in 18 matches but left empty-handed on the back of a 25-0 drubbing.
Smiling head coach Kristian Woolf said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys’ efforts and thought they were outstanding. We had a great energy about us from the start and, when we had the red card, we found another gear and we had to. The effort always shows through your defence.
“We made sure they didn’t find points and, when they got on the outside, we scrambled really hard. That type of performance will help us at the back end of the year.”
Mata’utia, who had successfully overturned a one-match ban for a high tackle to keep his place in the team, was given his marching orders by referee Chris Kendall after 16 minutes for lifting Giants hooker Danny Levi as he lay injured on the ground.
“I understand where we’re going there but we’ve not quite got it right,” Woolf said. “It’s not even a high shot to start with. Blokes are lying on the ground trying to milk penalties and we’re reacting or over-reacting to that. We’ve just got to get these decisions right.”
Huddersfield coach Ian Watson said of the red card: “I thought it was harsh but the rule is you can’t touch an injured player. Danny got a two-match ban for touching someone’s collar earlier in the season.”