Brian McDermott hits back at Shaun Wane as war of words continue

Brian McDermott refused to step back in his dispute with Wigan head coach Shaun Wane, claiming it was ‘poor form’ of the Warriors head coach to defend Taulima Tautai.

Wane accused Leeds of trying to “influence” Tautai’s disciplinary case after he was charged for dangerous contact on Adam Cuthbertson in Wigan’s defeat to Leeds last week.

The tackle was not spotted or punished during the match, but retrospective action was taken by the Match Review Panel while Brian McDermott condemned the tackle following the contest.

Wane criticised McDermott and Leeds players for their reaction to the tackle, even accusing some Leeds players of trying to get Tautai sent off.

Following Leeds’ victory over Rovers, McDermott issued a strongly-worded response to his counterpart.

“If Shaun Wane is genuinely saying don’t speak about this because we want to get away with it and he wants to continue getting away with that type of tackle, I’m coming back and saying you shouldn’t be using those type of tackle techniques.

“I don’t want to see those techniques, What Tautai does is a legal version, he tries to pin the legs, I’m presuming. I do hope he’s not going in there with a carefree attitude to break his legs. I think the phrase I used is poor form, I think it’s poor form of him to put his players’ eligibility first before the game and other players’ safety.

“It’s not about Tautai, it’s not even about the disciplinary. It’s about what people in the game want to see. This is an area of the game I think we could get rid of from the game overnight by an interpretation of the rule. You can’t add on to the knee or below once someone else is in contact with the player.”

McDermott continued: ” What we’re now doing is talking about whether you can cynically break his knee when he’s not watching, when somebody else has held him up like two bullies holding him up against a wall, I think that’s a pile of c**p, and I think Shaun Wane trying to defend his player is very poor form.

“What a ridiculous sport we have at the moment where some players are scared to stand in a tackle. We all want to see offloads and second efforts in a carry, but some players are scared of getting their knees snapped. What sort of game allows that and tries to promote that?”