At the Magic Weekend, Huddersfield Giants were well in the game against St Helens until they conceded a try whilst Luke Yates was off the field due to a sin-bin for a cannon ball tackle.
Speaking on Sky Sports at the time, Terry O’Connor slammed the tackle wholeheartedly saying he hates them and calling for them to yield a ban – something that snowballed on social afterwards.
However, speaking today, Ian Watson felt the incident was blown out of proportion on Sky Sports, leading him to hit out at the media for their reaction to certain things in the game.
Watson even went as far as suggesting that those who are at the forefront of the media ‘can kill the game’ with the way they continue to talk about it.
“I think anytime anyone goes near, it’s kind of a cannonball now, everyone kicks a big fuss about it, but I think the media have a huge job to do me and Rugby League,” Watson said.
“Sometimes they can kill things and they can kill the game by the way they speak about it, they just need to kind of make sure that obviously they’re there to help grow the game as well and Luke Yates didn’t get charged for that tackle.
“He got a grade A but he didn’t get charged heavily for that tackle because the match review panel felt he did take some care and consideration.
“In the heat of the moment and especially when you’re commentating you’ve got to make split decisions, like you’ve got to make split decisions as you’re a player, so from the outset Terry will have seen it and thought oh that doesn’t look good.
“For me I just thought with Luke Yates we just can’t do that tackle anymore, we can’t do that but it wasn’t anything malicious, he’s lost his feet, Tommy Makinson’s kind of pulled away from him and then he’s kind of, he’s lost his legs as he’s fallen and he’s caught him, which the match review panel agree that he was more accidental than intentional or else he would have been on games ban.
Watson’s strong words proceded more strong comments from the Giants coach about the incident that ended Joe Greenwood’s day, with the forward leaving the field with a head knock after a strong impact.
Adding to his previous comments about disciplinary and the media, Watson added “I think, like I say, the media they’ve got split seconds to to come up with something and speak about something and that’s obviously a talking point for him.
“I’d have been a little bit more interested for him to show a couple more angles of the Joe Greenwood head collision because how we end up with a man sin binned and then Saints don’t I’m not sure.
“But then he doesn’t get put on match review is another one, but like I say all the reports are that it was initially a head clash is what they thought so it is what it is, there’s nothing we can do about it.”