St Helens star spotted using ‘John Asiata tackle technique’ against Leeds Rhinos

St Helens are playing Leeds Rhinos in their first game since their controversial loss against Leigh Leopards in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

That was a game marred by the controversy of John Asiata’s tackle technique, which saw four St Helens players injured.

Among those were two season-ending injuries to both Agnatius Paasi and Alex Walmsley.

What followed was huge condemnation from Paul Wellens with the Saints boss claiming that he was defending his players, after accusing the RFL of failing to do so.

Speaking to BBC Radio Merseyside, Wellens said: “This weekend, the governing body has failed in it’s duty to protect it’s players. On the weekend, we had four players injured by one player tackling in a reckless and dangerous manner.

“What we have to consider here is when we are making decisions about tackling in that manner, we give the green light to coaches and players at all levels, including the community game, we give players the green light for players to tackle like that.

“I sit here as someone who loves the game, that doesn’t sit with me well.”

As such there was plenty of eyes on how St Helens would approach this game, particularly after Leigh owner Derek Beaumont highlighted incidents in which Saints players had utilised a similar tackle technique.

That’s now happened again with Sky Sports’ Brian Carney outlining James Bell replicating the tackle technique in the first half of the match.

“Now we will say about this, this is not an illegal tackle technique, a legal one, but it would certainly resemble the ones that St Helens have informed the Rugby Football League to look at at the end of the season,” Carney explained.

“The RFL of course have said in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, techniques like this will be some that they look at and make a decision at the end of the season.”

Former Saint Kyle Amor responded: “Yeah, look, exactly like how I viewed Asiata’s tackle, it’s not a tackle that I want to see in the game.

“A lot of the players and the current players, former players, would like to see it eradicated out of the game.

“However, as fate would happen tonight, they would produce that. But, as I said with Asiata’s tackle, as it stands, Brian, there’s nothing wrong with that at the moment.”