Leigh Leopards are fighting with Wigan Warriors and St Helens for a spot in the top two after their Challenge Cup Final win over Hull KR.
But their chances of finishing in the top two were hurt by a defeat against league leaders Catalans Dragons, the toughest fixture they could have faced a week after Wembley glory.
After the game, Adrian Lam insisted he didn’t want to use that as an excuse for the defeat as he explained the defeat on Sky Sports:
“I don’t really want to make any excuses. I thought we played well and on those attacking moves we might have usually scored two or three more tries but Catalans scrambled really well.
“But that is the game. Look we were a little bit sloppy in some areas where we haven’t been in the second half so that effected us.
“I am really proud of the boys. They scored three tries from kicks, take that away and that is a pretty solid effort.”
He said his side need a rest after an emotional few weeks:
“We just want to rest. It has been an emotional rollercoaster the last week. It is one of those things.
“We have games to go and the end of the season will come around really quickly and we are just going to hang in there and we will get through it.”
Their next game is against their Challenge Cup Final opponents Hull KR:
“Hull KR were hurt last week so that will be a big challenge. But we will do what we can to get back to where we need to be.”
In terms of the game, a late hit from Mike McMeeken and a yellow card saw Leigh nail an early penalty to make it 2-0.
Then, after a Sam Tomkins blunder, an inside ball from John Asiata allowed Tom Amone to tear through and score. He rounded the cover defence for a great try.
Catalans Dragons definitely needed to score next and they came up with a response after Zak Hardaker gave away a penalty. Mitchell Pearce stabbed a kick behind and touched down himself to score.
The Dragons were now on top and stormed 12-8 ahead with a try from Paul Seguier. A great set play from the Dragons with attacking players doubling up on defenders allowing Seguier to carve through.
But then another yellow card for Catalans, this time to Michael McIlorum, paved the way for Leigh to score with Ben Nakubuwai burrowing over from the penalty allowing Ben Reynolds to nail a penalty and make it 14-12.
Then a mess at the back nearly led to a try for Wigan Warriors bound Adam Keighran after a ball bounced off a defender but he was unable to ground the loose ball.
But shortly after Catalans took the lead again when Hull KR bound Tyrone May kicked behind for Tom Davies to score.
May was in the mood in the second half as he dummied, bounced off Ben Reynolds and carved inside wrong footing Ben Nakubuwai who was missing his boot.
The match was settled with another try for the Leopards as Manu Ma’u grounded another kick.