Leigh Leopards are fighting with Wigan Warriors and St Helens for second spot in the league which comes with the all important reward of a home semi-final in the play-offs.
But now the treble appears to be over with defeat to Catalans Dragons yesterday.
It was a spirited display from the Leopards but they came up short against the league leaders in a game laced with a touch of controversy which is why some fans were not happy.
They branded Catalans as “the dirtiest team in the league.”
Catalans are up there with the dirtiest teams in the league. They were not punished sufficiently today. However, you can guarantee they will be against Wigan and Saints in the play -offs. They will think they are playing a different sport when the big games arrive.
— Pet James (@PetJames5) August 19, 2023
Another fan said that official Jack Smith didn’t get a grip on the Dragons’ discipline.
Not the result we wanted, ref didn't get a grip on discipline ( should have been at least 1 red), but dragons are a very slick team.
Our players must be running on empty.
Next week we go again. #betheroar
— andy (@biganzuk) August 20, 2023
Another fan said the French side are “the grubbiest team in the league.”
Call it sour grapes, apart from 12 supporters and being the grubbiest team in SL what to Catalan actually bring to SL. Hopefully they will pick up some match bans. ♥️🐆
— Phil (@Phil63364544) August 19, 2023
That said some fans were critical of the Leopards’ performance rather than the official.
Is what it is. 2nd half was worst half of rugby we have played all season. 0 complaints at all, ref gave us everything too, we was shite.
— Jamie (@jamie__c95) August 19, 2023
Another fan praised the effort from the Leopards a week after Wembley.
Played ya hearts out lads. Always gonna be a monumental effort to beat them today. We go again next week 🏻😀 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️🔴⚪️🔴⚪️🔴⚪️
— Adam Russell (@Adam_Russ89) August 19, 2023
But some were critical of the Leopards’ second half display.
Second half worst of the season. But after last week what could you expect against the too of the league. Up the shaggers https://t.co/nt36UbqzDu
— jamie mills (@jamiemills__) August 19, 2023
In terms of the game, a late hit from Mike McMeeken and a yellow card saw Leigh nail an early penalty to make it 2-0.
Then, after a Sam Tomkins blunder, an inside ball from John Asiata allowed Tom Amone to tear through and score. He rounded the cover defence for a great try.
Catalans Dragons definitely needed to score next and they came up with a response after Zak Hardaker gave away a penalty. Mitchell Pearce stabbed a kick behind and touched down himself to score.
The Dragons were now on top and stormed 12-8 ahead with a try from Paul Seguier. A great set play from the Dragons with attacking players doubling up on defenders allowing Seguier to carve through.
But then another yellow card for Catalans, this time to Michael McIlorum, paved the way for Leigh to score with Ben Nakubuwai burrowing over from the penalty allowing Ben Reynolds to nail a penalty and make it 14-12.
Then a mess at the back nearly led to a try for Wigan Warriors bound Adam Keighran after a ball bounced off a defender but he was unable to ground the loose ball.
But shortly after Catalans took the lead again when Hull KR bound Tyrone May kicked behind for Tom Davies to score.
May was in the mood in the second half as he dummied, bounced off Ben Reynolds and carved inside wrong footing Ben Nakubuwai who was missing his boot.
The match was settled with another try for the Leopards as Manu Ma’u grounded another kick.