Huddersfield Giants wanted to restart Leigh Leopards clash: ‘We wanted an 80-minute game’

Josh McAllister
Ian Watson Huddersfield Giants News Images

Photo: Steve Flynn/News Images

Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson felt his side were treated unfairly and wanted a full rematch with Leigh after having to play out the final 32 minutes of Friday’s suspended clash, eventually falling to a 34-16 defeat. 

The Giants were behind 16-12 before the Leigh Sports Village became a victim of floodlights failure after 48 minutes of play earlier in the week.

Players and officials were withdrawn from the field, initially for 10 minutes, with the hopes of getting the game back underway. But at around 10pm, it was confirmed that the power would not be returning, forcing the Round 24 clash to be abandoned.

A decision was made on Saturday morning for the game to be resumed exactly from the point where it was interrupted, although Huddersfield boss Watson claims the decision was unfair for both sides.

The Leopards went on to wrap up a 34-16 victory on Sunday with further tries from Edwin Ipape, John Asiata and Lachlan Lam.

“We wanted to restart.”

Watson said: “We wanted an 80-minute game. We wanted to restart.

“You seem like you are moaning when you lose but they had two players in Asiata and (Tom) Amone who had only just gone off coming straight back on. They’d had 48 hours rest.

“They wouldn’t normally have come off for 30 seconds and then gone straight back on. I don’t think it was fair to both teams.

“We had to travel back home on a coach. Leigh players would have been in bed while we were still travelling.

“We had a couple of players that couldn’t play. Chris Hill and Adam Milner would have been good to go again on Friday because the adrenaline was there but as soon as they take their boots off, it’s game over.”

Watson however had no complaints about the result and bemoaned his side’s performance, with a top six finish looking increasingly unlikely against the likes of Salford and Hull KR.

He continued: “We looked as if we’d got beaten on Friday and were thinking we can’t make the play-offs, and put the cue on the rack.

“They showed a level of desire and discipline to win the game and we didn’t.

“It does look highly unlikely now we’ll be able to make the top six but we’ll only know with our performances in the next three weeks.”

Opposition head coach Adrian Lam felt the decision to restart the match was the right one, with the result strengthening their play-off position with just three games left.

“That’s something we’ve not experienced before but we had a mentality of thinking whether it was going to be 80 minutes or 30 minutes that was exactly what we wanted,” Lam said.

“I think playing 80 minutes would have been ridiculous with where the season is at. I think it was the fairest thing.

“They had the chance to win the game but it’s gone our way. I’m pleased with the outcome and thought we did some really good stuff with the ball.”

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