Cunningham condemns “horrendous” tackle on Smith

Saints coach Keiron Cunningham
Saints coach Keiron Cunningham

Keiron Cunningham has hit out at Widnes prop Manase Manuokafoa for the “horrendous, ninja-like” tackle which threatened to end Matty Smith’s season.

Smith picked up the serious leg injury against neighbours Widnes Vikings in the Karalius Cup clash at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday.

The signs are not too good and head coach Keiron Cunningham is expecting his close season signing from Wigan Warriors to be side lined for some considerable time.

Cunningham also condemned the “ninja-type tackle” which resulted in the England international being helped from the field on the stroke of half-time and demanded positive action from the powers-that-be,

He said: “It was a disgusting and horrendous tackle and the kind we’ve been trying to outlaw for three years.

“During the past we have lost two people with broken legs and three or four with syndesmosis with that type of tackle, but like everyone else in our sport we are reactive, never proactive.

“Now we as a club are determined to do something about it.

“We have also cited the player, Manase Manuokafoa. Matty hasn’t even got the ball, it has left his hands and the tackle coincides with the next tackle which is when Morgan Knowles is tackled.

“He grabs hold of Matty’s shoulders and drops his legs. You can see his boots; his legs are that far off the ground and he drops 120kg on Matty’s ankles.

“It is harder to do that tackle than push Matty off the ball.”