Video: McDermott refuses to blame officials for Leeds Rhinos loss

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LEEDS Rhinos’ head coach Brian McDermott refused to use contentious refereeing decisions for his side’s 26-24 loss at Wigan Warriors last night.

They missed out to a last-minute penalty from Matty Smith having levelled an epic contest with Rob Burrow’s 77th-minute try.

Leeds' Brad Singleton goes over to score.

Leeds' Brad Singleton goes over to score.

However, Leeds had a brilliant effort from Danny McGuire – involving a sublime free-flowing handling move – ruled out in the first half for a highly-debatable obstruction decision.

McDermott said: “I thought it was a try but it’s not the reason we lost at all.

“We were very close in terms of the scoreboard but ultimately I just don’t think we were good enough in the first half.

“The second half we gave it a crack and it was spectacular for some periods but we just weren’t strong enough defensively in that first half and gave Wigan too much of a foothold.”

On that ruled out ‘try’, he added: “Last year we got the game tied in a knot trying to work out who touched him, who came where, who did this and that and there was too many questions to ask.

“In the off season we all agreed to what refs wanted to do which was ask one simple question: was anyone obstructed?

“If you broke that try down no one was and if you get real technical Joel Tomkins, the Wigan defender, came from three or four yards outside the path to engage Kallum Watkins not the other way, and then put his hands up saying he couldn’t get to him which always suggests a player needs help from the ref.

“It’s a shame as it would have been a spectacular try and there was some fantastic individual efforts in the second half to get in position to win.

“Credit ourselves for that but there are no medals handed out at the end of the year for that, is there?”

Wigan Warriors and England assistant coach Paul Deacon has left the club immediately with the former Bradford Bulls scrum-half taking up a position with rugby union side Sale Sharks as attack/skills coach.

Catalans Dragons have announced that Australian scrum-half Scott Dureau is to leave the club at the end of the season and return to the NRL.

The former Newcastle Knights player, who turns 29 later this month, has scored 694 points in 80 Super League appearances for the French club and was named in the Dream Team in 2011 and 2012.

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