Leigh Leopards forward Tom Amone launches defence of John Asiata against “keyboard warriors”

LEIGH LEOPARDS are in the Challenge Cup Final – that much is fact.

The Lancashire club put in a brilliant performance against St Helens in last weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-final.

However, there were a number of incidents throughout those 80 minutes which are still being talked about, almost a week on.

Most of the debate surrounds Leigh’s John Asiata, who was cited three times by the Disciplinary Match Review Panel for ‘Dangerous Contact’ in the aftermath of the Leopards’ 12-10 win.

With Saints’ Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Alex Walmsey and Agnatius Paasi all facing spells out on the sideline due to what head coach Paul Wellens labelled “horrific” and “dangerous” tackle technique, the debate continues to rage.

Yesterday, Wellens released a statement before his pre-match press conference describing what he felt was a “failure” in the governing body for not punishing Asiata in the aftermath of that fixture.

“As a game, we bang the player welfare drum a fair bit and make a lot of effort and make a lot of strides as a game to protect players because ultimately we have a duty of care to protect our player at all times,” Wellens said.

“But, in my opinion, and very few would disagree with me, this weekend, the governing body has failed in its duty to protect its players.

“On the weekend, we had four players injured by one player tackling in a reckless and dangerous manner.”

With Asiata coming under fire, some of his teammates have leapt to the Leigh captain’s defence, including forward Tom Amone.

Amone, who like Asiata, has been in incredible form in 2023, took to social media to explain his thoughts, tweeting: “Very unfortunate what happened on the weekend.

“I hope the saints boys have a speedy recovery.

“But no matter what will always have my tokos back!

“Just remember before you key board warriors start sending threats to him he has a beautiful family that see that stuff!”