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“Commit to your team” – Jon Wilkin slams injured Leeds Rhinos duo

Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos lost to Huddersfield Giants 30-24 last night in a game where they also lost their two right-edge players, however, Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin has slammed the pair for failing to ‘commit to their teammates’.

David Fusitu’a was a timely return from injury for the Rhinos with the winger replacing Ash Handley who has been sidelined with a rib injury sustained against Warrington Wolves.

The ex-New Zealand Warriors winger got on the scoresheet in the first half but his untimely injury just after the break has been questioned by Jon Wilkin, with both Fusitu’a and his centre Harry Newman being exposed on Elliot Wallis’ try to get Huddersfield back into the game.

From that point onwards the Giants would go on to outscore Leeds Rhinos four tries to two with the scoreline perhaps generous to Leeds given Jake Connor’s off night with the boot, kicking just three from seven.

Head coach Rohan Smith has also contested that a “huge call” went against his side in the dying moments that helped contribute to the loss.

Leeds Rhinos’ pair called into question by Jon Wilkin

Credit: Imago Images

Both Harry Newman and David Fusitu’a would leave the field just after Wallis’ score with the pair having been exposed on the right edge by Adam Swift who was tackled just shy of the line by Newman.

Initially, those working for Sky Sports had questioned Rohan Smith’s decision to remove the two players, such was the innocuous nature of their injuries, however, Brian Carney confirmed that the pair were injured.

The Sky host said: “In fairness now to the two gentlemen, David Fusitu’a and Harry Newman, we have more knowledge as to why they didn’t re-emerge afterwards, both of those were injured.”

Ex-St Helens captain Jon Wilkin was having none of it though, arguing: “Yeah, I get that you’re injured, I just think it’s inexcusable not to get on the end of the line. Harry Newman chased back, he just didn’t get on the end of the line.

“You get pulled off after that but don’t just limp backwards and not be on the end of the defensive line for kick-off and then say put your hand up and go ‘Oh, get me off of injured’.”

He went further still, insisting: “I’m thinking, ‘Commit to your teammates to actually do a job there’. I know you’re hurt but I’ve played there, Jonesy (Jamie Jones-Buchanan) has played hurt, you (Brian Carney) have played hurt.

“I think you have a responsibility to commit if you’re on the field to do your job and those two players didn’t do the job.”

The extent of the injuries remains to be seen but if the pair are out for a long period, as they have been previously with injuries, then it’s yet another dire consequence of what was a bad night at the office for Leeds Rhinos.

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