LEEDS RHINOS youngster Liam Sutcliffe believes having too much time – rather than the usual too little – affected his chance of securing a match-winning drop goal against Huddersfield Giants.
The 20-year-old saw his late effort go just wide as Thursday’s epic derby ended 24-24.
Huddersfield captain Danny Brough, a specialist in the field, badly skewed two efforts of his own.
“When I got the ball I seemed to have loads of time with it,” said stand-off Sutcliffe, who did hold his nerve impressively to kick the 77th-minute penalty that levelled the thrilling game and also added three conversions.
“Sometimes you are better off getting it and just booting it straight away. With the penalty, I was surprised how loud the (Giants) crowd were. But I managed to blot that out and get it over.”
Super League leaders Rhinos were 22-8 ahead at half-time and that remained the scoreline until just approaching the hour mark.
However, three quickfire tries suddenly gave Giants a 24-22 lead before Sutcliffe struck his penalty.
He said: “I’d definitely say it was a point lost. In the first half we got off to a pretty good start. Although they went ahead we managed to get some tries back and we went in at half-time with a pretty good lead. But in the second half we let it slip. A few missed tackles in D [defence] allowed them to get back into the game.
“We could and should have won it. We played well in the first half and we did enough to win the game, but the second half let us down.”
Leeds, who have failed to win in their last two games, head to Widnes next Sunday and their much-maligned artificial pitch. But Sutcliffe said: “I don’t mind playing on it. We’ve a 3G pitch at Kirkstall and we train on that in pre-season, so most of us are used to that type of pitch.”