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Leigh Leopards: Derek Beaumont’s absence is behind delay to John Asiata appeal

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

On Tuesday, there was yet another delay confirmed in the disciplinary circus surrounding Leigh Leopards captain John Asiata appeal against his Grade A charge picked up three weeks ago.

Leigh Leopards faced St Helens on March 1st in a game that saw Asiata face off against the Red Vee for the first time since that controversial Challenge Cup semi-final in 2023.

That game in question saw four Saints players left with injuries, two of which were season-ending, on account of what Paul Wellens described as “out of control” tackle technique.

Fast forward almost eight months and Asiata was sin-binned after just 41 seconds for a very similar tackle, this time on Sione Mata’utia, yet he was only handed a Grade A charge and a fine.

Asiata later limped off and he is now expected to be sidelined for weeks but the saga surrounding him continues with Leigh Leopards adamant on appealing the decision to charge Asiata.

Given that no ban was imposed, it would seem that the only benefit would be the avoidance of paying the fine and ensuring that Asiata’s record remains untarnished for the incident, something that could prove important at potential future disciplinary processes when taking his past behaviour into account.

However, for the second week running Asiata’s case wasn’t heard at the Tuesday night disciplinary tribunal and Adrian Lam has now explained what has triggered this delay.

Adrian Lam reveals why Leigh Leopards have delayed John Asiata’s appeal once again

Leigh Leopards

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking at his press conference ahead of the club’s clash with Featherstone Rovers in which they’ll begin their Challenge Cup defence, Lam was asked about the reason behind this week’s delay.

He told the club’s YouTube channel: “Derek’s away at the moment so we’ve just asked for that option and that’s been given.

“It’s one of those where John is out for a long period of time so it’s more about making sure we defend what we think is right with that action. We’ve just got to be patient for that to come around.”

Derek Beaumont has been on safari in South Africa as seen on his social media accounts but will potentially be back to defend Asiata’s case next week, although Lam didn’t make reference to a time scale.

Beaumont has already been outspoken this year on the fact that he will “not be silenced” as he had called for an “overhaul” of the sport following his side’s collapse against Leeds Rhinos.

Leigh Leopards had raced into the lead before the Rhinos scored 24 unanswered points to win 24-16, triggering an outburst on social media in which he argued: “That is why the game is not investable and needs an absolute overhaul! I have kept quiet till now!”

He added that he would speak at the council meeting next Wednesday as he wants change: “Council meeting Wednesday and I will do my talking there! I will not sit and watch our game be driven into the ground! Fine me but you will not silence me! Game on.”

It will be interesting to see what comes from those comments in regards to a potential overhaul of the sport, something that Beaumont has previously referenced as being potentially financed by rich friends of his.

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