Controversy sours tense Grand Final

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Video referee, Phil Bentham, was probably the only person inside or outside of Old Trafford who could not discern that Lee Smith was something of the order of 18 inches off side when he swooped for the killer score.

So how do the league defend such a call? They don’t have to. It all adds to the rich tapestry of the game and in reality the Saints have only themselves and some glaring errors by experienced players to blame for their third successive Grand Final loss.

“Sometimes that’s what it comes down to … the bounce of the ball. When teams are that close a bad bounce or ricochet can cost you the game.

Speaking after the game a clearly disappointed Saints’ coach, Mick Potter, said:

“No complaints. I thought they (Leeds) finished off well and their kicking game was better than ours in the second half.”

Asked about the controversial onside ruling, Potter opted for Arsene Wenger style diplomacy adding:

“I try not to look at the screen. I sked the bench and they said it was offside so I went with that. It’s for you guys to judge.

“But that’s rugby league sometimes you get a call sometimes you don’t.”

But Potter was confident his charges could overcome the Rhinos despite the errors, saying:

“You run a risk of making errors if you move the ball around but sometimes you get the reward and sometimes you don’t. I thught we were in with a big shout at half time.

“But we came up with a couple of errors and they came up with some kicks that sat nice for them. They had more skill in that department and came up with the plays.

“Sometimes that’s what it comes down to … the bounce of the ball. When teams are that close a bad bounce or ricochet can cost you the game.

“If you could have your time again you might choose to kick the ball or put the ball dead but Leeds came up with the plays at the right time.”

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