Leeds Rhinos could not repeat their heroics from the last time they made the trip to the Catalans Dragons as they went down 32-18 to the French side last night.
That ended the West Yorkshire side’s six-match winning run at perhaps the worst possible time, setting up a grandstand finish to the season against Castleford Tigers next weekend.
Though Leeds head coach Rohan Smith bemoaned his side’s performance, the Australian also pointed to an incident in the first-half which could have resulted in another Leeds four-pointer.
Instead, the French side turned the ball over and were then dominant for the next quarter, scoring four tries to head into the break with an unassailable 28-6 lead.
Smith revealed on the Rhinos’ Youtube channel: “There was a critical moment at 6-6 – last tackle on the tryline – where (Michael) McIlorum is laying in the ruck.
“It’s one of those days, sometimes you need that to go your way and it didn’t and then we weren’t good enough to respond to that and the better team certainly won.
“It was a good, hard battle for most of the second-half, but we weren’t good enough for too much of the first-half.”
For the Rhinos, their talismanic number nine Brad Dwyer had to leave the field for a Head Injury Assessment, but he returned and Smith revealed that there will be no problem with that issue moving forward onto Castleford.
Meanwhile, captain Kruise Leeming was hit around the ribs by a Catalans man and looked to be in trouble following that clash, clutching his side for the remainder of the game.
However, it appears as though the Eswatini-born number nine will be fit and raring to go in order to help the Rhinos secure a play-off spot following a tremendous run of form.