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“I don’t…” – Paul Wellens speaks out on John Asiata tackle

St Helens Head Coach Paul Wellens spoke to Sky Sports after his side defeated Leigh Leopards 12-4 on Friday night in a game that centred around the controversy of John Asiata and his early tackle.

On the performance, Wellens said: “I’m pretty happy with it in terms of our effort at the back end of the game. It was a tough game, slow game at times. I thought it never really got going. We certainly had two committed teams though who both turned up with a real effort to win the game.”

He went on to highlight some key performers: “Yeah, I think there was a few. I thought, you know, you just interviewed Matt Whitley, we mentioned him before the game. He starts with his Saints career, he’s been really positive. I thought Lewis Dodd was excellent tonight. This is a kid who’s had a fair bit of criticism over the last 12 months but he’s a player who’s come off the back of a really serious injury and he was always going to take time to get back but I think he showed his quality tonight.”

Paul Wellens speaks on John Asiata

Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont with Super League Dream Team member John Asiata

One of the big talking points was John Asiata‘s sin binning just 40 seconds into the game as he produced a similar tackle to the ones that injured St Helens players last year and led to an impassioned statement from Wellens, a fine for the Saints boss but ultimately a change of rules from the RFL which outlawed such tackles.

On this, Wellens said: “I don’t want to get too caught up in it to be honest. Obviously the directive has gone out to all the clubs around, you know, that type of tackle. I don’t want to say too much on it, he’s left the field tonight, he’s on crutches over there, so we wish him well, hope he returns to full fitness soon.”

He also reflected on Saints winning three from three: “Yeah, it’s a decent start. We’re happy with where we are at the moment. I think there’s a lot of improvements on our game tonight I think well the way we started the game was probably a reflection of the way we finished at Huddersfield last week and we probably gave into this wanting it to be a little bit easier than it was going to be so that’s a lesson for us to learn.

“We just want to work on those improvements from tonight. Like I say it’s a long season and you’ve got to learn each week we’ve got some big things to learn from tonight’s performance.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    March 2, 2024 at 8:23 am

    Try getting the names of the Saints players correct. It’s Matt Whitley and Lewis Dodd.

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