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Tony Smith believes Leeds Rhinos' disallowed try did not help Warrington Wolves lift the Challenge Cup trophy
Smith disagreed with the idea that Leeds' disallowed try helped Wolves win the game. Pictures by Mike Boden
WOLVES boss Tony Smith has dismissed the idea that Leeds’ disallowed try at the start of the second half changed the outcome of the Challenge Cup final.
Brett Delaney slid over on 42 minutes for a try that would have taken Leeds into the lead after Kylie Leuluai’s huge hit on Brett Hodgson had dislodged the ball, only for the referee to confuse everyone in the stadium by awarding Leeds a scrum for an apparent knock on in the tackle.
Immediately after the 35-18 defeat to Smith’s three-time Challenge Cup winners, Leeds coach Brian McDermott called the disallowed try a ‘huge momentum shifter’ and admitted that missed opportunity may have cost his side a chance to get back into the game.
Tony Smith, however, did not agree.
“We sometimes got a few calls, but a few went against us too,” he said.
“You have got to be good enough to overcome it.
“It hurts at the time and we can all throw our hands up, but it depends on what side of the fence you are whether its a good call, bad call or a great call.
“It is easy for us coaches to sit on one side of the fence and say, ‘wow we got a bad call there today’ and I have been guilty of it myself.
“All you can hope as a coach and as a sports fan is that it evens itself out, either over the game, or over the year.
“If I am sitting there after a loss and two or three decisions went against me, I’d probably be doing well to contain my emotions, but that is what you have to do.
“It comes down to this, my job is to get my players good enough to overcome the bad decisions.
“If we are able to do that we can walk away happy.”
There is no question that Smith’s side will be walking away from Wembley extremely pleased themselves after earning their third Challenge Cup title in as many finals.
They ensured Leeds Rhinos became the first team in more than a century to lose three consecutive Challenge Cup finals at Wembley with a stellar second-half performance, scoring four tries through Chris Riley , Ryan Atkins, Tyrone McCarthy and Hodgson to add to first half efforts touched down by Joel Monaghan and Trent Waterhouse.
The win cemented the current Wolves side as one of the best in the club’s history, and captain Adrian Morley believes that lifting the cup for a third time ranks as one of the proudest moments of his illustrious career.
“It is absolutely incredible,” said the Warrington legend, who marked his 150th game for the club at Wembley yesterday, Saturday.
“After the success in 2009 and 2010 we were disappointed not to be here last year and we made it a goal of ours this year to return.
“To win three times in four years is a fantastic achievement and I am so proud to be part of it.”