Sione Mata'utia. Picture: SWPix
Just when he thought his squad was nearing full strength, apart from long-term absentee Lewis Dodd, St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf now finds himself without tough tackling Sione Mata’utia for the home match against Hull KR on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) and the visit of Leeds Rhinos on Thursday, June 23 (kick-off 8pm).
The 25-year-old Australian and Samoan international was handed a two-match suspension by the RL Disciplinary Panel for dangerous contact during the champions victory over Toulouse Olympique in the south of France on Saturday night.
The second-rower will now be left kicking his heels in frustration on the sidelines for the next two Super League encounters.
It’s not the first time this year that the former Newcastle Knights player has been in hot water with the powers-that-be, being handed a two-match ban for a similar incident against Warrington Wolves at the Totally Wicked Stadium in March.