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Harry Newman slammed for “unacceptable” act in Leeds Rhinos thrashing at St Helens

It was another night to forget for Leeds Rhinos at St Helens as they fell to another Super League heavy defeat at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Despite taking an early lead through Ash Handley and only trailing 12-6 at half-time, the Rhinos suffered another second-half collapse.

Rohan Smith’s side conceded five second-half tries, eventually losing 40-10. It was another night to forget for Leeds who have now lost six matches this season.

At full-time there was again plenty to pick out from the Rhinos display, with a number of players again falling short of expectations to the fury of the Leeds fans at the ground and online.

In their post-match analysis, Sky Sports were also not shy in pointing out where Leeds went wrong. Though mistakes and poor defence were the focus, both Jon Wilkin and Danika Priim were quick to point to a single moment that defined the Rhinos night and their season as a whole.

Leeds Rhinos star slammed by Sky Sports pundits

Sky pundits Wilkin and Priim slammed centre Harry Newman for his lack of effort in chasing back for one of Saints’ second-half tries.

After a break from Waqa Blake in which Newman made a despairing dive way up the pitch to stop him, the Rhinos number three could be seen lying on the floor watching the play unfold.

His lack of effort to run back and get in the defensive line saw Saints score on the next play, with Curtis Sironen crashing over in the sport Newman would have been in the defensive line. Instead, Newman could be seen walking back off the field of play.

Speaking on this after the game, Wilkin said: “This clip for me typifies it (the lack of spirit). Harry Newman makes a mistake. It’s a defensive error. But watch him stay on the ground [and not try to run back].

“Look, he is still on the ground. Look again, he is still on the ground. This play fast forwards now, we see St Helens react and a lot of Leeds players react and Curtis Sironen runs a beautiful line and ends up scoring the try.

“But now look at the bottom left of the screen. Harry Newman is not even back in play. That right there is the difference between these two teams.”

Priim added: “It looks like he has walked himself off the field hasn’t he? And that for me is what I talked about earlier – the effort and energy St Helens have is exemplary [in comparison].

“That’s the type of body language from Leeds Rhinos that is just not acceptable. You’ve made an error, you’ve sat down and you’ve had no ownership of it.”

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