Leigh caretaker coach Kurt Haggerty says they never recovered from James Bell’s sin-binning in their 48-18 defeat at Leeds.
Haggerty has yet to see his side win in five games since replacing John Duffy, with the Centurions still seeking their first win of the season.
Leigh took the lead at Headingley on Thursday night but then Scotland international James Bell was sin-binned for a tip tackling Mikolaj Oledzki.
Haggerty said: “Once we had the sin binning we never really recovered.
“We were scratching at that point with 12 and when we went back to 13 there was too much for us to claw back.
“I have only seen it back once, but if you lift a leg you are going to be sin-binned. So we have got to be better on that.
“We are not great at being in that cycle yet. Once we realise we can’t break them down and turn the ball over we have got to defend hard to get the ball back.”
When Mark Ioane scored his side’s second converted try after 48 minutes Leigh were back to within two converted scores.
However, Haggerty did not expect a comeback, saying: “I still think we would have conceded more points.”
Half-back Ryan Brierley scored his 199th career try for Leigh’s late consolation but then left the field with a nasty eye cut.