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Page last updated at 23:57 GMT, Sunday, 28 February 2010

Brian McLennan admits Storm deserved win over Leeds

Keith Senior (left) and team-mate contemplate their loss to Melbourne Storm
Senior (left) and his Leeds team-mates contemplate their defeat

Leeds coach Brian McClennan admitted Melbourne frustrated his team into submission in the World Club Challenge game but it was a fair tactic.

The Australian champions' delaying tactics upset some Leeds players but helped them to an 18-10 win.

"It is a skill and they are very skilled at it," he said.

"Our referees aren't used to that level of technique and our boys got frustrated. We had some close chances and just didn't convert."

Veteran centre Keith Senior was one of those particularly upset by the tactics, and in the heat of the moment he was scathing in his criticism of referee Richard Silverwood, comments he later retracted.


Senior was penalised for dissent late on which allowed Cameron Smith to kick Melbourne ahead for the first time in the game, a lead they never lost.

"I'm sick of him, he's arrogant," said the former Great Britain player.

"A lot of players don't like playing with him. He likes to be the centre of attention and he got his way tonight."

Senior admitted he should have known better than to give away the penalty, but felt his feelings were justified because of Silverwood not punishing the Australians for persistent delaying tactics.

"It was just frustration on my behalf and I should know better. You've got to take decisions on the chin," he said.

"But he called surrender. I had fought my way up and in my eyes that gave me the right to play the ball. He said they could keep hold of the ball and mess about. He likes everything to be about him."

Having had time to reflect on my comments, I appreciate that, like us players, referees have a difficult job to do

Keith Senior

After the match, Senior issued a statement through the club apologising for his remarks, but he may still have to explain his comments to both the Rugby Football League and club officials, to see if he breached the club's code of conduct.

"I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my comments," he said.

"Unfortunately I let my emotions get the better of me after a physically and mentally draining clash with Melbourne.

"Having had time to reflect on my comments, I appreciate that, like us players, referees have a difficult job to do and we do not have a game without them."

Storm coach Craig Bellamy was particularly proud of his team's display considering their lack of competitive match practice, in contrast to Leeds, who are already up and running in Super League.

"I thought we finished as strongly if not stronger," he said.

"It was always going to be a tough, physical game. It was like that two years ago (when Leeds won 11-4) and we didn't expect anything different.

"It is really nice to win this. The club won it in 2000 but there is no-one in this club now that was here then."

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see also
Leeds 10-18 Melbourne
28 Feb 10 |  Leeds
Injured Donald out for 12 weeks
25 Feb 10 |  Leeds
McClennan expecting awesome Storm
24 Feb 10 |  Leeds
Rhinos skipper wants world title
26 Jan 10 |  Leeds
The BBC's Super League Show
15 Mar 10 |  My Club
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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