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John Asiata’s reaction to St Helens incident

Leigh Leopards star John Asiata against Wigan Warriors

In his first meeting with St Helens since the controversies in the Challenge Cup semi-final between the two teams, Leigh Leopards star John Asiata was sin binned almost instantly for a similar tackle much to his dismay.

Asiata was the subject of a lot of criticism in the aftermath of that game after his tackle techniques led to injuries for Alex Walmsley, Agnatius Paasi and Morgan Knowles.

Paasi is still injured in fact and after the incident St Helens Head Coach Paul Wellens slammed the tackles and the RFL for their lack of punishment.

The RFL’s hands were tied at the time but the rules have now been changed to outlaw such tackles hence the yellow card.

Before the game, Sam Tomkins was asked if John Asiata would be targeted as Leigh took on St Helens and he said: “I think so. John Asiata will have a target on him. From every one of the Saints players, because they weren’t happy with what happened last year.

“He wiped out two of the players, season-ending injuries. So, you know, the Saints themselves are an aggressive side. They get lots of line speed, they want to be confrontational. And that man right there is going to feel it, I think.”

Ironically, it was the Saints who felt it from Asiata resulting in a minor skirmish. Asiata had made a tackle reminiscent of those in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

He was sin binned after just 41 seconds and after 15 minutes he was helped off with an injury.

John Asiata responds to St Helens tackle

After being sin binned you could hear Asiata on Sky Sports slamming the decision to referee Liam Moore.

He could be heard saying on Sky Sports: “It’s a legitimate tackle. It’s above the knee.”

This came after Moore explained to him that “in our opinion it’s dangerous.” Of course, the new rules dictate that this kind of tackle equates to foul play unlike last season.

As he walked off the pitch, Asiata was seen gesturing to the fans saying to bring it on but when he came off again this time injured he was again jeered by the St Helens faithful.

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