Leeds Rhinos were beaten by Wigan Warriors in emphatic fashion as they lost 50-0 to the league leaders as Jake Wardle ran in a hat-trick.
It was a day that underlined where Leeds currently are in relation to their fiercest rivals and the focus is on them to get to those high levels.
But some fans took to blaming the officials and former referee Richard Silverwood quickly shut this down.
He said on social media:
“I get tired repeating myself. The SL officials do a OK job, loads to improve admittedly however there isn’t a long line coming through so you drop or sack as you want and replace with similar or inexperienced officials.
“Leeds fans have more to worry about than the officials. If you could do a better job get yourself on a course.”
The opening exchanges were scrappy but the highlight saw Kai Pearce-Paul break free however just five yards out the second rower slipped and he fell short of the line.
Jack Sinfield played for a big hit on Pearce-Paul with the ball eventually being dropped. Harry Newman scooped up and ran through but Sinfield was adjudged to have knocked on in the tackle, Leeds earning a penalty rather than the opening four points.
Leeds squandered territory before indiscipline granted it to Wigan and a Harry Smith kick was claimed brilliantly by Jake Wardle who outjumped Rhyse Martin to collect and ground, opening the scoring.
Just after the 20th minute Harry Smith played an almost identical kick to the one that saw Jake Wardle score, but the ball was spilled by the Leeds defender under pressure from Liam Farrell and Jai Field was quickest to pounce and score.
Leeds continued to look flat with the game almost exclusively played in their half and a sharp move on the left hand side saw Liam Marshall played in to ground and stretch the game to 16-0, Harry Smith’s kick striking the post.
Jake Wardle is in a rich vein of form and he made the most of it this afternoon with yet another quick move against Leeds’ right hand side of defence, French to Field and then on to Wardle who dived over to make it 22-0 minutes before the half.
It was already a tough ask for Leeds but conceding a minute into the second half didn’t help at all. Luke Hooley’s kick was charged down, Morgan Smithies ran and scooped it up and was supported by KPP who ran it in from 30 metres out to effectively end Leeds’ season.
With Leeds languishing they needed some passion but they got it in the form of Harry Newman retaliating to a Tyler Dupree shove. The penalty had been given for Dupree’s involvement at the play the ball, but Newman could count himself lucky not to see punishment for throttling Dupree in reaction.
After claiming a high bomb from Harry Smith on his own line, Luke Hooley then kicked on the fifth and nailed a 40/20 bang towards the corner granting Leeds great territory only to waste it – a summary of their season.
Jake Wardle can’t stop scoring. The centre received the ball 20 metres out and shaping to play in Liam Marshall carved out a gap for him to dart through and score his first ever career hattrick.