Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston vented his frustration at the match officials after his side fell just short of ending Leigh’s unbeaten start of the season.
The Eagles were in the box seat with just ten minutes remaining and looked set to cause a major upset against their full-time opponents, but three late tries ensured a flattering scoreline as the visitors extended their lead at the top of the table.
Aston was adamant Jacob Emmitt’s late try for Leigh was not grounded and questioned the appointment of St Helens official Michael Woodhead.
“It was probably the biggest game of the weekend in the Championship and yet we didn’t get a referee that matches the bill,” Aston fumed.
“There is no way that he got that ball down at the side of the post, and I have seen photographic evidence.
“The photographer couldn’t wait to come and show me that.
“We saw it on the ten second delay and he definitely didn’t get it down.
“It is a fine line but when it is a big game you would think the respect would come from the RFL and they would have the right appointment out in the middle.”
With Tony Tonks awaiting punishment following an incident at Featherstone, Aston also aimed his anger at the rugby league authorities with the prop set to hear his fate later this evening.
“Week in, week out I might as well bang my head against a brick wall,” he raged.
“The tackle on Scott Turner last week didn’t get taken any further which is the biggest disgrace I have ever seen in my life, it was similar to him getting run over by a bus. I have done with it now, I am not wasting my breathe on them anymore, they are so far away from the reality of this game.”
On the field Aston’s troops proved that their lofty position was no fluke after matching the Centurions for long periods, and Aston was pleased with his side’s overall display.
“With 15 minutes remaining we are in full control winning 22-18 and that is credit to the boys. The commitment and the attitude was there, it just needed fine tuning and that’s what I spoke to them about. Close but no cigar but we will get there because there were pleasing signs and plenty of outstanding performances.”