St Helens coach Kristian Woolf has called for a clamp down on stoppages in play for players who receive treatment but do not then leave the field.
Woolf says there were “four or five” incidents in Thursday’s Super League defeat by Warrington in which Wolves players held the game up.
Each time the player remained on the field and Woolf believes it is an issue that is spreading as teams look to stop the flow of opposition sides.
He refused to put any blame on referee Chris Kendall and says it is a matter that needs a competition-wide approach.
“It was a good game of footy between two good teams – we knew they would come to play and we had all the respect for them because we know they are a good footy side,” Woolf said after the 6-2 defeat.
“It was physical and quite fast, but there were a lot of stoppages that we have got to do something about in our game.
“We can’t just have stoppages all the time where blokes lie down on the field when the opposition has got momentum.
“It happened four or five times for really extended times each time as well.
“If you look at the last three or four weeks it is a real problem that is creeping in and takes away from the intensity of the game.
“It’s not the referee’s fault, their hands are tied, and it’s something we need to have a look at as a game.
“You can call it gamesmanship, it’s obviously a tactical ploy, and it’s happening too many times.”
Saints aim to bounce back from only their second defeat of the season when they visit Hull KR on Friday.
They are being strongly linked with a move for St George Illawarra fullback Matt Dufty, who is acknowledged as one of the best attacking fullbacks in the NRL.
Meanwhile, the club say Ireland international backrower James Bentley rejected a new contract offer to move to Leeds on a two-year deal to run from next season.
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