BOSS Brian McDermott launched what he described as a “rant” over the way Super League is refereed – after seeing his Leeds Rhinos side rattle up their highest score of the season.
Rhinos bounced back from their Carnegie Challenge Cup final defeat by thrashing Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 64-20 at Headingley last night.
But McDermott felt Wildcats were allowed to get away with “spoiling tactics” throughout the match and he said Leeds – Ryan Bailey in particular – were penalised for “running hard”.
He said: “If anybody wants the game to progress to where people are gobsmacked by the spectacle and skill on show, our attitude towards dominant teams needs to change.
“I thought that was refereed at the lowest common denominator. It was almost like let’s feel sorry for the opposition.
“There were 20 occasions when they could have been penalised for holding down. It made it a frustrating second half for everybody.
“It wasn’t (referee) Ben Thaler’s fault as an individual, it is our sport – the governing body, their attitude and the edicts from above allow people to use spoiling tactics and get away with it.”
Of Leeds’ performance, the coach said: “I am really pleased for the fellas. They were in a dark place last weekend and they were determined to do something special.
“I don’t want to single anyone out, from one to 17 they ran with determination, defended with determination could’ve scored a few more points as well.
“Last week we were very tough, showed a lot of character and a high level of skill and didn’t come up with the goods. To do it again tonight was pleasing.”
Rhinos substitute Ali Lauitiiti scored a try and created two others on his final home league appearance before joining Wildcats next season.
McDermott said: “He has been magnificent. He pretty much epitomises what Super League’s about. I don’t know if there will be a player like him in our game again. His service to Leeds can’t be under-estimated.”
Wakefield coach John Kear described Leeds as “very good” and he added: “We had some big individuals performances, but not 17 of them.
“It has been a long season and I think we’re feeling the wear and tear.”
Kear praised Motu Tony, Glenn Morrison, Julien Rinaldi and Paul Johnson, but said his side paid for too many errors early in the tackle count and penalties conceded.
“That is a recipe for disaster,” he admitted.