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Exclusive: Peacock sure Rhinos will be all fired up after Warriors' antics following McGuire's injury

LEEDS RHINOS' Jamie Peacock has warned Wigan Warriors they will face a backlash following the "cowardly" actions of some of their players the last time the clubs met.

The two teams will clash in the qualifying semi-final at Headingley on Saturday for a place in the 2010 Super League Grand Final.

The re-match comes after Leeds shocked their rivals by edging a dramatic qualifying play-off 27-26 at Wigan just eight days ago.

That game ended in controversy when Rhinos' Danny McGuire was deemed to have pulled back George Carmont in the final seconds as the desperate hosts looked to grab a winning try.

England star McGuire damaged his knee and is out for up to eight months with replays suggesting it was his ligaments tearing which actually forced the grimacing stand-off to grab his opponent and try to break his fall.

However, Phil Clarke, the former Wigan and Great Britain captain, has stoked the fires by incredibly suggesting he deserved to suffer the devastating injury.

"McGuire's injury could well act as a lesson to any other player watching that it doesn't pay to cheat," wrote presenter Clarke on the Sky Sports website.

"Perhaps the rugby gods have punished him for his unsportsmanlike play."

The strong words, from one of the game's most respected commentators, has caused huge uproar and are all the more remarkable given Clarke's own career was ended by a broken neck.

England captain Peacock – currently sidelined after a knee reconstruction – refused to be drawn but was aggrieved by the reaction of Wigan's players in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

"For me, the most important thing from all of that was Mark Riddell and Thomas Leuluai standing over Danny while he was lying on the ground calling him a cheat," the 32-year-old told the Yorkshire Post.

"It has gone unmentioned so far but it was one of the softest things I've ever seen on a rugby field. It doesn't get any more cowardly and there's no place for that in our sport.

"Their actions prevented Danny getting treatment for a while and, if we're talking about unsportsmanlike behaviour, that's probably the worst of any.

"I'm sure our lads will remember it going into Saturday's game.

"When someone's lying there with an injury like that, it's harsh and uncalled for."

 
 
 

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