When news hit the press that Bulls chairman Peter Hood had asked the Rhinos to voluntarily 'give up the points' I checked my calender to see if it was April the 1st. My next reaction was that this was a cleverly constructed wind-up desigened to further wind-up the Bulls supporters. But it turns out that it is true, he has indeed asked for Leeds to give the Bulls the points.|
There is more chance of hell freezing over!
We all admit, on reflection, that a last minute refereeing mistake (the penalty) compounded by an error of judgement (not to go to the video referee for the try) gifted us a game that we perhaps should not have won. There had, however, been several other incidents during the game which had gone against the Rhinos and which may have seen us in the lead before the controversial final seconds. Just because the incident that saw us snatch victory came in the final seconds doesn't mean that it affected the result more than some of the blatant mistakes earlier in the match.
In the final analysis it shouldn't have been a penalty, and Tansey was offside at the kick, but we took full advantage as the Bulls players didn't react quickly enough from ten metres, and allowed a player running from forty to collect the ball and score.
Many of us thought that no-one could surpass Chris Caisleys often misguided time at the top at Odsal, but Mr Hood has eclipsed him in one fell swoop.
Rugby League is often a lottery with games turning on a sending-off, missed forward pass, or a try given when the ball was dropped over the line. Most Rhinos supporters can reel off a long list of travesties where decisions have cost us trophies, not just a couple of Superleague points. Many will harp back to the 2003 Challenge Cup Final where a sequence of poor refereeing decisions from Russell Smith ultimately cost us the silverware, but never in a month of sundays, would Gary Hetherington have asked the Bulls to hand over the trophy.
In sport you have to take the rough with the smooth, grumble and protest all you want, but ultimately you accept that players and referees are fallible and that over the years and decades the unfair defeats will be levelled up by the lucky wins.
Sunday night saw a Rhinos lucky win, it went a small way to making up for all the times that we've been robbed. Mr Hood...live with it, lick your wounds, and try and help your coach put together a side that won't capitulate in the last seconds like they have done on both occasions against us this season.
I'll bet Mr Hetherington came close to choking on his breakfast too...