AUSSIE CENTRE Joel Moon, inset, should not have been sent-off in Leeds Rhinos’ 13-12 defeat by St Helens, prop Jamie Peacock says.
Moon was dismissed at the end of the opening quarter, for an alleged shoulder charge to the head of Saints centre Mark Percival, far right.
“It was never a sending-off,” insisted Peacock, right.
“How can it be a shoulder barge, when your arm hits at the same time as your shoulder? That’s the rule isn’t it? His hand was in contact when his shoulder was in contact.
“It’s because the lad got knocked out that I think he got sent-off. I don’t think it was a sending-off.”
The loss to Saints ended Rhinos’ hopes of finishing top of First Utility Super League and they now face a battle for a top-four spot.
It was Leeds’ third successive league defeat, but Peacock insisted the only negative from the game was the scoreline.
“I think everything was there bar the result,” he said. “Every value you want as a team if you want to go on and win the Grand Final was there in abundance.
“There was courage, desire and toughness, but the one thing we lacked in the second half was a bit of ball control, which we have been particularly good at.
“There were probably three, four, maybe five errors that hurt us in the end, but they can be fixed quite easily. The other values, if you’ve not got them, you are going to struggle in the play-offs. We have certainly got them in truck loads.”
Peacock added: “You have always got to learn from a defeat and take something out of it going into the following weeks.
“We know what you need to go on and win in play-off football and it’s certainly there, we certainly showed that (on Friday) and I think we’ve shown it all year.
“I think there’s only been one defeat when a team’s been more than one try and one goal away from us and that was Warrington, when they did a number on us.
“Every other game we’ve lost by a point or two points, which is good, but frustrating I suppose as well. If you look at the league points we’ve dropped, we’ve lost by incredibly small amounts and fine margins, but that’s professional sport.”
Rhinos finish their league campaign with away games at Wigan Warriors and Hull and Peacock said: “We are shattered we lost (against Saints), but the best thing about this time of year is it is big game, after big game, after big game.
“I love playing in them. Wigan are a very good side who beat us last time and going there is going to be a very tough ask, but it is one we will rise to.”