LACK OF preparation wasn’t to blame for Leeds Rhinos’ 16-14 defeat at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, try scorer Ben Jones-Bishop, far right, says.
The full-back revealed Rhinos had been expecting the play, Tim Smith shifting the ball to the blindside from close to the ruck, which led to two Wakefield tries in the second half – including Richard Owen’s last-gasp winner. An under-strength Leeds team were within minutes of gaining the victory, but a battling effort was no consolation.
“We should be coming up with the points,” Jones-Bishop stressed.
“We were very disappointed. We were caught on two short-side plays that we reviewed after last week, so it was very disappointing the way they scored those tries.
“We will have to fix that up for this week.”
Jones-Bishop had no major issue with the video referees’ decision to rule out a Danny McGuire touchdown late on.
He crossed between the posts, but Ian Smith and Phil Bentham decided the ball had reached him via a knock-on by Ryan Hall.
Hall did not appear to play at the ball, but Jones-Bishop said Leeds can’t use debatable decisions by match officials as an excuse when they come up short.
“It’s one of those,” he reflected.
“Again they caught us down that side, we had to make a big play and unfortunately it went against us.
“There was one that went against them early on. We aren’t complaining about that, you can only work on what you can control.”
Leeds, missing nine senior players, led twice and Jones-Bishop said the team fielded was strong enough to win the game.
“Some young kids have come in, but they are full of enthusiasm,” he said.
“They know the structures we use, so it is disappointing we didn’t win.”
Last Friday’s game was Jones-Bishop’s third at full-back during first-choice Zak Hardaker’s (left) five-game ban.
He has scored spectacular long-range efforts in Leeds’ last two fixtures, including a stunning touchdown at Wakefield when he weaved past a clutch of defenders before scorching down the right touchline.
“Tries don’t matter to me if we don’t win,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many we score if they score more.
“It is just one of those things, we will have to work hard this week and try and fix things up for Friday’s game against Hull KR. We might get some players back and that will give us a lift, but we have got a lot to improve on.”
Of his own form, Jones-Bishop – who will join Salford Red Devils when his contract expires at the end of the season – said: “I think I am going well at times.
“Obviously there’s still areas I can improve on.
“I am doing my best, I have got one more game and we will see what happens after that.”