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“Do your job!” – Sky Sports pundits take aim at ‘selfish’ Jake Connor

Jake Connor

Huddersfield Giants lost in devastating fashion against St Helens last night but the actions of full-back Jake Connor have been called into question in the post-match analysis.

Only last week was Connor in the news for his post-game antics that saw him wind up the Headingley crowd following the Giants’ stunning come-back win, but this week he’s hitting the headlines for his on-field actions.

The Giants were looking for a first win against the Red Vee since 2020 with Saints having won the past nine meetings and somehow Paul Wellens’ side managed to extend that record to ten last night.

Huddersfield led the game for 74 of the 80 minutes whilst Saints led for just 37 seconds but crucially those 37 seconds were the final 37 seconds with Jonny Lomax’s last-minute drop goal securing the 13-12 victory in a game that Huddersfield dominated for large parts.

After going 12-0 up the Giants ceded that lead through an intercept try to Tommy Makinson and a dive over from dummy half by Daryl Clark, a try that Giants’ full-back Jake Connor has been blamed for by Sky Sports pundits Sam Tomkins and Jon Wilkin.

St Helens play to Connor’s weakness

Jake Connor

Credit: Imago Images

With Huddersfield Giants 12-6 up and the game on a knife edge after tempers had flared, Daryl Clark managed to dart over past Ashton Golding and Leroy Cudjoe with marker Jake Connor nowhere to be seen.

Instead, Connor had decided to appeal to referee Liam Moore that Morgan Knowles had punched him during the play the ball and that decision has since been highlighted as a result of St Helens getting under his skin, with Clark’s try ultimately helping earn Saints the win.

Jonny Lomax even revealed it had been a specific tactic employed by St Helens with the club more than aware of Connor’s antics.

Lomax said: “I think that’s something that everyone laughs about Jake in the media, the fact that he gets at players but sometimes everyone knows when he’s coming. It’s probably a waste of energy at times.”

Pundit Sam Tomkins, a man who was more than capable of getting under the skin of St Helens’ players during his Wigan days explained: “I think if you’re a player like that and you try and under people’s skin then you’ve got to have thicker skin yourself. Jake can’t go and try and antagonize people and then he be the one that comes out losing because I think if this was a boxing match it’s Daryl Clark by knock out.”

On that note, Lomax added: “I’d agree with that. At the end of the day Jake’s a quality player, he’s quality for everyone to see. Like you said we know that he is going to come and get under your skin or at least try to get under your skin.

“I think there’s a few of us who are used to it now and have played against Jake for a long time and we know the threats that he poses, we know how skilful the player is, and we know that he’s going to come with a bit of that so you’re prepared for it.”

‘Selfish’ Jake Connor costs Huddersfield

Jake Connor

Credit: Imago Images

Jon Wilkin would go a step further and put the blame for Clark’s try directly on Connor with the former Saints captain explaining that the Huddersfield full-back had been played like a fiddle by the home side.

“I think Jake got distracted by this though within the game. I don’t think it serves him well,” Wilkin claimed as part of Sky Sports’ post-game analysis.

“I think Daryl came out on top didn’t he, picked up the Man of the Match and changed the course of the game.”

Going further, Wilkin hammered the behaviour of the 29-year-old: “For me, Jake made two or three clunky massive errors. This one in particular, he’s in a tackle and fair enough he’s clearly saying that Morgan Knowles has taken a swing but whatever. Get on with the game man! Do your job!

“Jake Connor has just got completely selfishly absorbed in a conflict that set him and his team no good whatsoever.”

Wilkin’s post-game thoughts were in a similar vein to the mid-game assessment by fellow pundit Terry O’Connor who was working on commentary for Sky Sports.

Tez slammed Connor’s defensive lapse, stating: “Jake Connor wasn’t involved in that tackle but he’s certainly a big cause of that try. You can see that there’s a bit of a punch out or a slap out but he’s just got to make sure that he concentrates. That’s all he’s got to do. You’re five metres from your line. You can’t be looking at the referee to try and get a penalty.”

You can see the incident below.

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