Ian Watson says Leigh Leopards exploited match abandonment

Huddersfield Giants’ chances of keeping up with Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils in the play off race are all but over after their defeat to Leigh Leopards on Sunday.

Though they only played 32 minutes on the Sunday, the game will likely go down as the longest ever given the match started on Friday prior to being abandoned due to a floodlight failure.

The Giants were against completing the game on Sunday and wanted to restart the game and Ian Watson still feels the wrong decision was made.

This is because he highlighted how Leigh were able to exploit the situation:

“It’s a new experience, and maybe something to learn from and assess of how things stood; but I don’t think it’ll ever happen again to be honest with you.

“I think if that happens again, they’ll play the game again for 80 minutes because there was some clever things in there, there were some things that were out of control; you talk about John Asiata and Tom Amone coming straight back on the field at the start of the game, we couldn’t put Chris Hill and Adam Milner out there so we could go best against best, which is obviously what you want the game to be as equal as it can be in terms of a contest.

“On Friday night they both would have been able to get back out there through adrenaline, they were both pretty adamant that they wanted to get back out there as well, it is one of them.

“At the end of the day, I thought Leigh did really well; they had the kind of player that can come and blow you away for half an hour, like Asiata coming back on, Tom Amone coming back on, they played to the strengths. We were a little bit ill-disciplined in terms of the game and obviously it went away from us.

“We were really disappointed because we felt like our game is built around breaking teams down and using the energy and on Friday, we just got to that point and we thought that we were in a really good position to go on and win that game so it was disappointing; but again it’s something I don’t think will ever happen again.

“I think they’ll have to play the 80 minutes again. They can’t restart a game like that, I don’t think. There’s too many things in and around it let alone the welfare of players and the recovery of players.

“Our players didn’t get home until 2 o’clock in the morning on Friday, and then they’re struggling to sleep, any player will tell you when they play the game they struggle to sleep anyway; and then the waking early and everything’s out of sync. It is what it is, it’s something we put down to an experience and we’ll have in the memory bank for if anything ever happens like that again; but I don’t think it ever will, I think that’s one once-in-a-lifetime event that’s happened.”