Paul Aiton has insisted he is no diver after the Leeds Rhinos hooker came under attack for an incident in their recent win over Huddersfield Giants.
The Papuan received plenty of criticism and ridicule on social media for the manner in which he fell to the ground after Jake Connor pushed him during Thursday night’s game.
Aiton won a penalty for his side even though it seemed there was minimal contact when the Giants full-back clashed with him when trying to play the ball.
Asked whether he had gone down too easily, he said: “I heard about that afterwards but I’d like to see how you’d go down if I hit you like that.
“He blatantly hit me in the face. I was shocked.
“I thought it was a cheap shot, I’m really angry at him for doing that. What gives him the right to do that?”
Aiton was the centre of attention again later on as his 74th minute try – his first for Leeds since joining from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at the end of 2012 – rescued the hosts and gave them a 28-24 win.
They had somehow trailed after squandering an 18-0 lead so it proved a timely intervention as the 29-year-old squeezed over from dummy-half.
“I’ve had a real dry streak with the Rhinos,” he admitted.
“I’ve always gotten over the try line in my career, and it’s been on my mind over the last year – it’s been really worrying me! But Huddersfield are a good side, and if you give them the ball then they’ll punish you.
“It’s a real relief to beat them – it’s been four years since we turned them over here.”