“Leeds should be down to 12 men” – Paul Rowley notes “tough call” and questions yellow card as he explains Salford Red Devils’ defeat to Leeds Rhinos

Salford’s time in the top six has come to an end today at least for now after they surrendered that sixth spot to Leeds with a defeat to the Rhinos 34-14 crashing back down to earth after battering the Champions St Helens last week.

It was one where Salford will be left to kick themselves according to coach Paul Rowley. His side started slowly trailing 18-0 early and although they battled back they couldn’t take control.

He held his side responsible but he did question some calls which “compounded” a bad afternoon for the Red Devils.

“In some respects we’ll definitely kick ourselves and in that respect it’ll be tough to watch in review because it’ll be an honest review,” Rowley said after the game, “I think the intent in our defence and our detail in our attack were two major factors to why we were in a position where we were always trying to rescue the situation rather than control the situation and   obviously the start was poor because of that.

“I don’t think it was a particularly good game, 25 errors in there I think. I don’t think either side were great but on our side our detail in our attack was poor and our intent in defence was poor.

“Compounding that, I think we got some real tough calls. The trip – Leeds should be down to 12 men and they’re not and I don’t get how cannot see that.

“The first two six agains against on the second half were back to six, back to six, sin bin. I think that was a bit the occasion getting the better of everybody and it became a Leeds party at the end of it but the best team won in my opinion.”

He also questioned Sitaleki Akauola’s yellow card at the end which also came courtesy of a six again.

When asked why it was given with Akauola confused at first, Rowley said: “Absolutely and I asked him this question and he said it was because it was his third set restart so that’s a new one on me that three set restarts and you’re in the sin bin maybe the 14500 giving some encouragement. They were the first two of the half towards the end of the game.

“It’s not cost us the game that’s for sure but they don’t help do they?”

He was keen to stress that Salford wouldn’t give up in the play-off race: “It’s been remarkable in that respect, in Super League there’s so many teams chasing those last two spots. I think we’re two points behind fifth at this moment so we won’t be giving up any time soon.

“We’ll just go onto our next job all this means is Leeds have put their destiny in their hands and that’s the position we were in at the start of the game and we’ll try and regain that.”

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