Paul Rowley urged his Salford Red Devils side to learn from their mistakes after they threw away a 12-point lead to lose out at home to Leigh Leopards courtesy of some poor discipline.
Rowley both played for and managed hometown club Leigh, departing in 2016. Assistant coaches Krisnan Inu and Kurt Haggerty have also both previously played for the Leythers, with the latter taking interim charge of the then-Centurions in the 2021 Super League season.
Masterminding two Salford victories against his former club already this season, both away from home, a treble looked on for Rowley’s men for some time at The Salford Stadium this afternoon.
Dissent was what ultimately cost the head coach and his current side that third victory over Leigh though, giving a penalty away on the halfway line at 22-22 and providing Ben Reynolds with the opportunity to slot home what proved to be the winning kick.
Paul Rowley: “We were the masters of our own downfall”
Post-match, the Red Devils boss said: “I thought it was our game for us to lose. We were in control, but we were the masters of our own downfall.
“We have had three tight affairs with Leigh this season and they are a team that won’t go away. We probably took a few shortcuts and our lack of discipline proved our undoing.
“Leigh are a team that come alive in your half and our lack of discipline both with and without the ball was lacking today.
“It was probably a reflection of our current form, and it’s something we need to improve on if we want to progress for the remainder of the season.
“We still had enough opportunities to get the job done, but Leigh are a good team in good form and we knew they would never go away.”
Five defeats on the bounce for Salford Red Devils
Leigh’s first victory in Salford since 1983 means it’s now five straight defeats for the Red Devils, including a Challenge Cup exit at the hands of Hull KR last month.
KR have leapfrogged them in the standings, and now occupy the final play-off spot courtesy of points difference. Both sides now have eight Super League games left to play prior to the cut-off, and will face each other again towards the end of the campaign.
In the nearer future however, it doesn’t get any easier for Rowley and his side. After a week off next time out for the Challenge Cup semi-finals to take place, they return to action with a trip to Catalans Dragons.
Only two teams have taken victories in the South of France against Catalans this season, and after that, third-placed St Helens are next up for Salford.