Paul Rowley questions “bizarre” refereeing decisions in Leeds defeat

Salford Red Devils players Paul Rowley SWpix

Photo: Matt West/SWpix

Salford coach Paul Rowley has questioned several refereeing decisions as “bizarre” after his side went down 34-14 to Leeds and had a player sin-binned at Headingley.

Rowley described the second-half yellow card given to prop Sitaleki Akauola as “strange” and pondered why the Rhinos didn’t have Aidan Sezer carded for a potential trip on one of his players.

“We got some real tough calls, certainly for the trip,” he said.

“Leeds should have been down to 12 men, they’re not. I don’t get how you cannot see that.

“Sita – the first two six-agains in the first is a sin bin. I think that was just a bit of the occasion getting the better of everybody and it became a Leeds party at that point and we were on the end of it.

“But the best team won, in my opinion. So that was tough to take for us.”

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Paul Rowley questions refereeing decisions, but says better team won

Akauola was marched in the 71st minute and appeared confused with referee Ben Thaler’s decision, which Rowley understood.

“Absolutely I understood and he said the referee said he had given two set restarts and this was the third,” he said.

“But this is a new one on me that it’s three set restarts and you’re in the sin bin. I could understand the penalty, but I don’t know, maybe the 14-and-a-half thousand fans were giving some encouragement for that one.

“They were the first two of the half as well, which makes it even more bizarre. Towards the end of the game, it’s very strange. But it’s not cost us the game, that’s for sure. But they don’t help, do they.”

Salford take on Huddersfield in front of the Channel 4 cameras next Saturday.

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