LEIGH boss Paul Rowley refused to accept his side’s Super 8 hopes were over despite a disappointing 36-12 defeat at Halifax.
With only one win in the qualifiers to their name, Leigh must win their remaining games against Bradford Bulls and Widnes Vikings and hope other results go their way to stand any chance of making the fourth vs fifth play-off game.
“I think there’s a chance of making the million pound game but we are looking at all the other results now,” said Rowley. “We could have been fourth tonight but we’re not and don’t deserve to be.”
Halifax raced into a 20-0 half-time lead against a side which had beaten them home and away in the Championship during the regular season.
Two quick tries at the start of the second half hauled Leigh back into the game game at 20-12 but they could not sustain their fightback against a determined Halifax side on their way to their first win in the Super 8s.
“I think the way we started the game set the tone,” said Rowley. “I think we defended 18 tackles then went the length of the pitch and nearly scored.
“I thought our skill level was poor and our game management was poor.
“We really didn’t show up - maybe not in terms of effort but certainly in our execution and skill level.”
Leigh had Gareth Hock back after injury but were without Greg Worthington and Tommy Goulden. They lost Adam Higson early in the second half after he was injured in the act of scoring.
“I think Halifax deserved to win,” added Rowley. “They gave us a good lesson in how to play the basics well. They played good old fashioned rugby league.
“We have become inconsistent in basic plays having done things to a very high standard for a long time. Unfortunately we seem to have picked the most important time to drop off in those areas.”