LEIGH’S head of rugby Derek Beaumont has accused Bradford of showing a lack of respect to the Kingstone Press Championship in the wake of Sunday’s explosive clash at the Sports Village.
The reigning Champions beat the newly relegated Super League club 36-24 in front of nearly 7,500 fans but incidents off the pitch have angered Beaumont.
Today he issued a stinging statement in which he references Bradford coach James Lowes, managing director Steve Ferres and backroom staff.
Mr Beaumont said: “It is always disappointing when club officials and employees lower themselves to the level of criticising their opponents or the referee in defeat. Sport is frustrating but sometimes it takes a strong individual to look in the mirror and accept they were beaten by a better team on the day.
“In my experience those who are unable to do this rarely move on and progress. I have to admit I have been somewhat amused by the comments of Bradford coach James Lowes and some of the Bradford players in the recent press articles I have had brought to my attention.
“We keep a close eye on our opponents and their press. It is interesting to look at Bradford press cuttings since last December. They wrote our team talk for us, none more so than Steve Ferres, the managing director of the Bradford Bulls, who when looking forward to the challenge facing his team named every club except Leigh. That omission came back and bit him firmly on the rear on Sunday.
“It was certainly a big show at LSV from our forwards but to suggest we resorted to tactics expected from a Championship club is disrespectful to the quality of the Kingstone Press Championship.
“Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t it the Bradford player who started to punch Gregg McNally in the face?
“In the end class always shows through and this was evident with the quality of tries we scored and then cemented in the respective coaches’ post-match interviews.
“While Lowes slated highly rated young 2014 Championship Referee of the year Joe Cobb, Paul Rowley showed his class and composure by stating he had been given a difficult day made more difficult by both sides.
“Bradford should not feel embarrassed by losing to us. We beat a strong Wigan side pre season and ran Leeds close last season in the Challenge Cup quarter-final. We are a quality side who have a top drawer professional coach leading a very passionate young group of players with believe on a journey we have mapped out.
“It is not a disgrace to come undone by that. I thought Bradford played well. In fact they played much better than we had assessed from their friendlies. They are a good side and that will become more evident as the season progresses. However, they will need to show more respect to this competition than they did at Leigh.
“In the end the class of Paul Rowley fixed things up and we ran in a 30 point to 4 drubbing in the second half with their only score being a weak try conceded unchallenged from a dropped ball.
“Our fans will be encouraged by that and I hope those lapsed fans returning will buy into our beliefs. I also hope that the magnificent following fans from Bradford keep the faith in their side and continue to put some much needed revenue around the Championship clubs.”
When questioned regarding the allegations from some Bradford sources in their local press Mr Beaumont said: “It’s quite obvious these paragraphs have been tagged at the end of the reports at the request of Bradford which I have on record from one reporter but I expect local press to be loyal to the team they cover.
“I do not wish to be drawn on the situation as it is currently under investigation, other than to say I have never been treated in such a manner in my life, let alone during my time in Rugby League.
“I rose to the bait. I should be better than that and I apologise to anybody who witnessed that, as it is not my persona. I suppose they had to have one win on the day and I am happy for that to be them goading me whilst we took the two points.
“We are conducting our own investigation into the significant number of complaints we have received from spectators and media personnel, in particular over events that occurred in the so-called sterile area outside the changing rooms. We will make these findings available to the RFL and we are confident they will act accordingly.
“On behalf of the coaching staff and players I would like to thank the Leigh fans for their huge support and we look forward to seeing the same vociferous support for the boys during a tough challenge at the Shay against ‘Fax on Sunday.”