Ex-Wakefield Trinity star hits back at critics who slammed him for hooking halfback during “horrific” performance

Former Wakefield Trinity player Jason Demetriou is now living the dream as South Sydney Rabbitohs boss, but in such a role he is of course never short of criticism.

This came in bucket loads when he hooked young halfback Lachlan Ilias earlier this season as the he was striving to fill the hole left by star Adam Reynolds.

However, speaking on St Helens legend James Graham’s The Bye Round Podcast, Demetriou defended the decision as he had his say on the reaction.

When asked if he understood the decision, he said “Yes and no.

“I understand the reaction and I knew the minute I said I want to take Lachie off I knew what was coming.

“I wasn’t thinking overly about it but I know it’s a decision I’m going to make and I know I’m going to cop it.

“But I’ll stand by it, it was the right decision to make. He was struggling and he had a glassy look in his eye and with young blokes when things aren’t going their way they’re like a deer in headlights and they haven’t got the experience or capability to come through that yet.

“I felt like if I left him out there — it was 30-nil at the time and he had been involved in the last two tries — if I leave him out there and we get beat by 60, how am I going to play him next week? Because I know if I don’t get him off who’s going to be the scapegoat in this? ‘Shouldn’t have let Reynolds go, Ilias isn’t up to it’ so I said nup.

“What people don’t realise is the first bloke that got hooked was Tom Burgess at the 13th minute mark because he was playing horrific and then Cameron Murray got taken off at the 25th minute, which never happens, because he was playing so terrible,” he said.

“Lachie was the third bloke that came off but because the other two are forwards it doesn’t stand out as much.”

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