Super League coach reacts to shocking penalty count in crucial fixture

Last weekend was a pivotal one in Super League as Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR met in a golden point thriller, Wigan Warriors defeated Warrington Wolves in a fast paced affair and St Helens lost a top of the table clash against Catalans Dragons but the action concluded on Sunday with a brilliant game between Salford Red Devils and Leigh Leopards.

It was blow for blow in the first half. Salford took the lead through Ken Sio but Leigh would cross for tries through Ricky Leutele and Ed Chamberlain.

Salford though had the halftime advantage thanks to tries from King Vuniyayawa and Andy Ackers and they had a 22-10 lead in the second half when they notched their fourth try of the afternoon.

Leigh battled back to 22-all via Lachlan Lam and Zak Hardaker before a Reynolds penalty won it.

Paul Rowley spoke on the defeat after the game highlighting his side’s ill-discipline:

“We’ve played Leigh three times now, and each one has been a really close encounter, so I guess it’s a good spectacle in that respect.

“This time we’ve come unstuck. My thoughts are that our discipline let us down, and some decision-making at key moments.

“It’s a game played by honest people, and ultimately, if you take a little shortcut, the ball will find you or it finds you. I thought we clocked off at some moments today, and it found us.

“Ultimately, discipline was the thing that not only gave them the two points to get them in front, but it really gives you field position. You can see they’re quite manageable in their own half, and they come alive when they get in the opposition half through Asiata and Lam, in particular. So yeah, I did feel it was a game that we lost.”

The Red Devils did again have some big calls go against them however including a disallowed try for Joe Burgess.

Rowley said on BBC Radio Manchester he felt the decision was wrong: “We don’t think he got it right; it was a touch judge’s call, but we would never go down that route. We had enough in us to get the job done regardless of whether the calls were right, wrong, or indifferent.

“Usually, you find that you get some that go your way as well, which no doubt there would be. So, I would never go down that route.

“You’re free to talk about guys that were or weren’t for you guys, but for me, it’s not a healthy route to take when you’re trying to, like I said before, be the master of your own destiny and to do that, you need to work hard.”

When the surprising penalty count of 10-3 against the home side was revealed to him, Rowley said:

“Well, that’s about being honest, isn’t it? The players sort that out. I think, I’m not sure, it’s not a case of coming in and saying, “Right, 10 laps are on the field.” We’re not in the 1960s, you know, so that’s for the players to sort out.

“They’re an honest bunch, so we talk about it, and we’ve got to get over that edge because we’ve done it many, many times. They’re a good team and they’re an honest team, so we’ll get there.”