Leeds Rhinos: Mac won’t blame ref for narrow defeat

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LEEDS RHINOS boss Brian McDermott refused to blame referee Richard Silverwood for his side’s 26-24 defeat at Wigan Warriors last night.

LEEDS RHINOS boss Brian McDermott refused to blame referee Richard Silverwood for his side’s 26-24 defeat at Wigan Warriors last night.

Paul Aiton's try against Wigan

Paul Aiton's try against Wigan

Leeds seemed to have secured at least a point when Rob Burrow’s try, converted by Kevin Sinfield, made it 24-24 with two minutes left.

But Rhinos were then penalised in possession, for an obstruction by Paul Aiton and Matty Smith kicked the penalty to give Wigan the win.

Rhinos also had a try controversially ruled out by video officials Ian Smith and James Child in the first half, after referee Silverwood said ‘no try’.

Rhinos remain top of First Utility Super League, two points clear of Wigan and three ahead of St Helens, who play Huddersfield Giants tonight.

McDermott said: “I have got no complaints with the loss, I thought Wigan – over the course of the game – played better than we did.

“I thought in the first half we were flat. We had some tremendous periods with the ball in the first half, more than anything, but defensively we didn’t

have enough bite about us.

“In the second half we came out and looked different and had a bit more bite about us. But in the first half Wigan shad a fair amount of momentum and ultimately that’s when the game was won and lost.”

McDermott did say he thought McGuire’s try should have been given - and claimed it would have been “the best try ever”.

He also felt Rhinos were victim of some “harsh” calls in the second half.

Wigan team boss Shaun Wane described Leeds as “the best team in the competition”, but he said: “I thought we deserved to win, I thought the best team won.

“We bombed two dead set tries in the second half with poor skill and we gave them three tries, so overall I am really happy with the win.”

After the game, Wigan’s assistant-coach Paul Deacon - a former Bradford Bulls half-back - confirmed he is leaving the sport to join Sale Sharks as skills and attacking coach.

Mitch Garbutt presses forward

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