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'I’m just confused' - Leeds Rhinos boss reacts to epic Leigh comeback win and sin-bin controversy

Leeds boss Rohan Smith hailed the “composure and calmness” his side showed after they came from 16 points down to beat Leigh 22-16 at the Leigh Sports Village.

Leigh took charge in the first half thanks to tries from Gareth O’Brien, Umyla Hanley and Kai O’Donnell, seemingly putting them on course for a first victory of the campaign.

Hanley was denied another score after he stepped in touch before dotting down and O’Brien’s second-half sin bin let Leeds back into the match.

Skipper Rhyse Martin went over for Leeds’ first try and two scores in quick succession from Matt Frawley and Ash Handley brought the Rhinos level before the latter crashed over to earn the visitors their first away win of the season.

Leeds boss Smith said: “The physical battle went our way in the second half and we were hard to stop from that point.

“I thought Leigh attacked extremely well, some of their combinations were sharp and they got us but overall I don’t think they had too many plays that troubled us too much.

“You’ve got to be able to win in different ways, you have to play from behind, from front and when the scores are even. It really doesn’t matter what the score is until the end.

“At 16-0 we weren’t that bad and I liked the composure and calmness at half-time, no one was flustered, it was relaxed.”

O’Brien’s sin bin brought Rhinos back into the match but Leeds were forced to play the final minutes with a man less after Justin Sangare saw yellow for a late challenge on Tom Amone.

Smith thinks refereeing decisions are taking more of the spotlight this season rather than the actual game.

“The sin bin we had at the end made the back end of the game an even bigger struggle against a bigger attacking team,” he said.

“Everyone around me for every single incident is screaming for a yellow card. That’s what we’ve created for ourselves.

“If we want the game to be 12 a side change the rules. Everyone is just yelling for it and all we are talking about is sin bins, yellow cards and high tackles. It was a good game between two good teams which almost got spoilt.

“I’m just confused, and as a coach we are going into the game just hoping, that’s all we are doing.”

Leigh boss Adrian Lam thought his side played their best half of rugby this season before seeing Leeds hit back in the second half.

He said: “A little bit frustrated with the effort we put in, I feel we deserved something out of the game.

“I thought the first half was as good a footy we have played during my time here so far and thought the second 40 was just disruption after disruption.

“I’m just disappointed for the players and devastated that they have put all that effort in but come away from the game with nothing.”

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