Derek Beaumont has stoked the fire by suggesting other players have ‘maybe run harder’ at John Asiata this season to avoid injury, following Paul Wellens criticism of the Leigh Leopards forwards tackle technique in their Challenge Cup semi-final clash against St Helens.
Wellens took to the media on Monday to share a passionate statement in which he believed the RFL failed to protect the safety of his players and players going forward by deciding against banning Asiata for any of the hits he put on at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.
The Saints boss claims that Asiata injured four of his players during the game which Leigh won 12-10 in Warrington, with two of those four players suffering season-ending injuries – with Alex Walsmley ruled out for 12 weeks and Agnatius Paasi sidelined for a staggering nine months.
Tackle around the legs have been under more scrutiny in recent seasons, particularly ‘third man in’ tackles, which now have to be above the knee.
However, Asiata’s hits have been widely recognised as legal in line with the game’s current rules, with former Super League referee Richard Silverwood stating that the Leopards star had done nothing wrong, though he did accept laws probably did need reviewing.
This opinion was backed up by Asiata’s coach Adrian Lam and then on Twitter by club owner Derek Beaumont, who provided screenshots in response to a fan’s criticism of St Helens players attacking the legs of several Leigh stars during Saturday’s game.
Now Beaumont has doubled down further by pointing to Asiata’s clean disciplinary record and the fact he has played in 90% of Leigh’s games this season, and this is the first time his tackle technique has been pointed out.
In fact, Beaumont went as far to suggest that other players may have avoided injuries because they ‘maybe ran harder’ at the former Tongan international, though the Leopards owner did state he was ‘sorry’ to see the Saints players get injured.
And to have made those tackles week in week out and never have been charged in any game yet played in 90 percent of all minutes available to him! Sorry see anyone injured maybe they ran harder dunno but somets different to other games? Asiata is a class player and class human ❤️ https://t.co/XbuJtKC7v4
— Derek john beaumont (@derek_beaumont) July 26, 2023
In response to Silverwood’s tweet stating no player goes out on the field to get injured, Beaumont said: “And to have made those tackles week in week out and never have been charged in any game yet played in 90 percent of all minutes available to him! Sorry see anyone injured maybe they ran harder dunno but somets different to other games? Asiata is a class player and class human.”
Beaumont’s tweets is likely to rile up some people with both Paasi and Walmsley two of the hardest running forwards in the game, with everyone hopeful the duo will make a quick recovery from their respective ACL and MCL injuries.