Leigh Leopards suffer significant double injury blow during St Helens defeat

Aaron Bower
Tom Briscoe Leigh Leopards Alamy

Tom Briscoe is helped from the field during Leigh's defeat at St Helens

Leigh Leopards were left to count the cost of their defeat at St Helens on Friday night after suffering a potentially serious injury blow to two of their most influential players. 

Captain John Asiata and winger Tom Briscoe both left the field at the Totally Wicked Stadium – with Asiata also potentially in trouble with the match review panel after being sin-binned inside 41 seconds for a dangerous tackle on Sione Mata’utia.

That tackle left Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin branding Asiata a ‘pantomime villain’, but the Leigh captain’s night would get even worse as he was helped from the field with a suspected torn calf. That was then confirmed by Leopards coach Adrian Lam post-match.

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And that wasn’t Leigh’s only injury concern, either. Midway through the second half, with the game still in the balance and St Helens leading 12-4, Briscoe pulled up with what also appeared to look like a troublesome calf problem.

He was also given assistance in leaving the field, and Sky Sports‘ Jenna Brooks confirmed several minutes later that Briscoe was had been withdrawn due to a calf problem. When asked about Asiata potentially suffering a torn calf, Lam admitted Briscoe appeared to have suffered the same fate. He said: “It’s same with Briscoe. I think we were down to one sub for the last 25 minutes. There was plenty of effort from the boys and with a couple of smarts, it could have been a different outcome.”

The Leopards briefly levelled the scores at St Helens on Friday night courtesy of a Zak Hardaker try, but a wonderful team effort that was finished by Tommy Makinson, coupled with two goals from the boot of Mark Percival, were ultimately enough to make it three wins from three for the Saints.

Leigh, however, put in a spirited defensive display – but they now face a nervous wait to discover just how long they will be without two of their most important players for, having already lost hooker Edwin Ipape for up to eight weeks.

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