JAMIE PEACOCK says an argument with team-mate Kevin Sinfield in Leeds Rhinos’ Tetley’s Challenge Cup win over Leigh Centurions proves they are playing in a “good environment,” writes Peter Smith.
Peacock and Sinfield – the past and present England captains – had words as tension mounted in the second half, before Leeds pulled clear late on to win 25-12. But Peacock said: “I think having honesty with each other is a sign you have got a good environment.
“Me and Kev can be honest and have an argument and get on with things and there’s no difference. Obviously, if you are an outsider looking in, it looks like we are losing it, but we’re not. We are just being honest with each other and that’s what winning environments are about.”
Leigh were in front for a spell in the first half and the sides went into the break level at 12-12.
There was no further score until Robbie Ward touched down for Leeds with eight minutes left.
And Peacock admitted: “It does get frustrating when you get down there and they are defending and holding on and holding on, but you have got to give them credit for their desire. Their desire to win the game was fantastic.”
Reflecting on the quarter-final, Peacock paid tribute to Leigh’s remarkable effort.
He said: “It was a tough Cup tie. It just showed what a good side Leigh are and how teams can rise to the occasion.
“There’s a lot on the line in these one-off games and I thought Leigh played really well and fully played their part in what would have been a good Cup tie to watch for the neutral.”
The Kingstone Press Championship leaders had won all their 16 competitive games this year ahead of Friday’s tie and Peacock wasn’t shocked at how well they played.
“I thought they’d be good. They scored some good tries. Their second try was a good, off-the-cuff try and once they got out in front their tails were always going to get up.
“We were a bit blase with the ball early on, but we got into our groove in the second half and we took the juice out of them.
“That’s why we got a couple of tries at the end, but they should be really proud of their efforts. If you put those players in a full-time environment they would go well in Super League. They deserve a lot of respect.”
Leigh are likely to get a crack at Super League opponents next year.
A new format will see the bottom four Super League clubs after 23 rounds of the competition go into a new competition against the Championship’s leading quartet, with a place in the elite league the following year up for grabs.