Ian Watson claims RFL decision to play 32 minutes wasn’t fair

On Friday night Wigan Warriors moved top of Super League but the story was down the road where Leigh Leopards vs Huddersfield Giants was abandoned after 48 minutes.

This was due to a floodlight failure that plunged the ground into darkness and after 55 minutes of trying to resolve the situation the match was abandoned.

The RFL then made the decision to play the remaining 32 minutes today and Ian Watson questioned the call on The Giants TV.

He said: “Yeah, we were pretty open about that. We wanted an 80-minute game. We wanted to restart.

“You seem like moaning when you’ve lost but let’s have a look at what happen straight at the game, which we knew was gonna happen. John Asiata and Tom Amone come straight back on.

“Joe Wardle came on and took the first carry before the lights went out and then he’s been subbed straight off, so what are they saying to Joe? Basically, that they don’t trust him and that they need to get a Asiata and Amone back out there to to play?

“Well, that’d been great if we but they’ve had 48 hours rest now, in a game you wouldn’t have come off for 30 seconds and then gone straight back on would it?

“When they say it was fair, it wasn’t fair to both teams at all in the way it’s kind of been done. Our players had to travel back home on a coach on Friday night, by the time Leigh players would have been in bed, ours would have still been travelling home, so they wouldn’t have got to bed, so then there’s less recovery time or sleep time.”

He also suggested his alternative:

“For me the ideal one was to do Monday and we’d restart the game again and then you don’t get any kind of all this questioning now or thinking of different things and ways to do it.

“You can say though that it’s smart by them, they just used two subs straight away because they had them in the back pocket, put Asiata and put Amone straight back on at the start of play.

“As the game stood on Friday, Asiata had just come off and Joe Wardle did one carry. Are you going to tell me that’s going to happen if we’d have carried on playing on Friday? It probably wouldn’t.

“I just think the game should have been replayed from the start to be fair. Whether they blow us away, whether we beat them, whatever, it should have been played from the start.

“I’ve never known that in the history of the game to be fair but like I say when you lose it just seems like you’re complaining you’re moaning about it, so all I’ll say is Leigh deserved the win today and we were all disciplined and not good enough at the end of the day. They’ve got the two points and they can move forward and no one else is bothered.”

Watson also addressed not being able to use Chris Hill:

“We expected them to make immediate subs but at the same time we’re two players down and Chris Hill now can’t play, but he could have played on Friday because the adrenaline was in his body to play. Can we now swap him for the 18th man? But you can’t.

“But then again, you can do subs straight away at the start of the game, which put two big influential players back on, whereas in the game, Asiata had just come off on Friday with a bad shoulder as well.”