Rowley defends Leeds and play-offs after ‘devaluing the competition’ comment

Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley has defended the play-off system and Leeds Rhinos as he hit out at reactions to results.

The Rhinos are struggling at the moment but were in a much worse place a year ago and still made the Grand Final.

This led to Dave Woods putting to Salford coach Paul Rowley that a team being ordinary in the first half of the season and being crowned Champions could “devalue the competition.”

Firstly, Rowley suggested the Rhinos are anything but ordinary as he explained he feels people react too much to results.

“You say looking ordinary but they beat Huddersfield a couple of weeks ago, whilst sometimes it doesn’t look conventional what they do with the ball they’re a very hard team to defend because of that and because they’ve got some big and dangerous athletes,” he said on BBC Five Live.

“What I’ve found is that sometimes we’ll get a win, let’s say against Castleford where I think we won by eight points or something.

“That’s classed as an ugly win and we’ve scraped through but then Hull KR beat Castleford the week after by a similar amount and it’s classed as a tough win.

“I think the perception of what a tough win or what an ugly win is can sometimes be dictated by a few things like what the weather is like, how many fans are in the ground to give it a perception of it being a good game.

“Does close mean it’s good? Or does it mean it’s two teams playing bad?”

As he continued to defend Leeds, he also defended the play-off system:

“I think Leeds aren’t far off in terms of points, there’s ten teams with nothing between them so I think the playoff system is fine.

“If they get in the playoffs like anybody else then they deserve to get there and then it’s knockout football, that’s what teams prepare for in terms of peaking at the right time.

“I think it was fantastic seeing them get to the Grand Final last year, they scraped in like we did so I thought it was good.”

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