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Why Leigh Leopards star John Asiata escaped ban after St Helens tackle

Leigh Leopards' John Asiata claps

Leigh Leopards star John Asiata has again avoided a ban following his low tackle against St Helens.

Asiata was the centre of a major controversy last July following the Challenge Cup semi-final between Leigh Leopards and St Helens that set up the Leopards for Challenge Cup glory.

The Leigh skipper’s tackle technique resulted in major injuries for both Agnatius Paasi and Alex Walmsley in the game.

Walmsley missed the vast majority of the season before making a small return at the end of the season but he still missed the England internationals against Tonga and his former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf.

Teammate Paasi suffered ACL and MCL injuries as well as ankle ligament damage. He is still recovering from the injury.

At the time, Asiata wasn’t suspended because the rules didn’t allow for that leading to a passionate statement from Paul Wellens.

He was fined for this statement but Wellens would later be vindicated with rules being changed.

These rule changes led to a yellow card for Asiata but he wasn’t suspended. He was charged however for “A defending player endangers the safety of an opponent by making contact to the lower limb(s) of the opponent in an uncontrolled manner in a situation where there is no genuine attempt to make a tackle, and which involves an unacceptable risk of injury to the opponent.” He wasn’t banned for this charge.

Leigh Leopards star saved by indicators

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

Many expected the Leigh Leopards star to get banned. However, in the tackle, according to Brian Carney on Sky Sports, some of the key indicators of foul play were absent.

He said: “Some of the indicators, gentlemen, are off the feet at the point of contact, fail to attempt to wrap their arms, make contact with the legs of the ball carrier on or below the knee, put their own head in front of the ball carrier, and another one is looking down on the ground.

“I would say, looking at John Asiata’s tackle, I would say he’s probably guilty only of looking at the ground. All the others, he tries to wrap, he doesn’t get his head in front of the tackler, he makes contact above the leg, it’s probably clear.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Frank Atherton

    March 5, 2024 at 12:25 pm

    Why didn,t the referee know the rules and just give a penalty kick. If he doesn’t know the rules what happens next time. Chaos!!!!

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