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RugbyL: Sinfield hails Leeds 'champion' performance

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Kevin Sinfield insists Leeds Rhinos proved exactly why they are Super League champions after Joel Moon scored one of three tries in their comeback win over Catalan Dragons on Monday.

Moon, formerly of the Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors in the NRL, set the Rhinos on their way in France with the opening try of the match after nine minutes.

Sinfield added three goals to make it 10-0 at half-time although the Dragons made the most of Ryan Bailey's dismissal for a shoulder charge after the break to lead 12-10.

Leon Pryce and Thomas Bosc both scored but Leeds fought back and won 27-12 as Sinfield kicked four more goals and a drop goal and Paul McShane and Jamie Jones-Buchanan touched down to inflict Dargons first home defeat of the season.

Sinfield, who beat off competition from Australian's Cameron Smith, Ben Barba, Cooper Cronk and Nate Myles to win the Gold Boot last year, believes that's why the Rhinos are champions.

"It was ugly, the penalty count wasn't in our favour and went against us, especially in the first half. But I just think we had an attitude to come and get a result," said Sinfield.

"We have been to the Dragons the last couple of years in the league and got our bottoms smacked so we had a different approach this time and thankfully we were good enough in the end.

"One to 17 put their hand up, including Bails (Ryan Bailey). I know he will get reprimanded for what he did but I haven't seen it so I can't comment on it.

"But I thought everyone's attitude was outstanding and that is the reason why we got the result. For us to come back shows the character that we have got in our group."

Leeds are four points off Super League leaders Wigan in the table with the Warriors demolishing Hull KR 84-6 on Easter Monday with Blake Green bagging a hat-trick.

As well as Green's treble, Matty Smith, Chris Tuson and Iain Thornley bagged doubles with Wigan coach Shaun Wane in awe of his players' mental attitude.

"We looked after the players to make sure they were in good nick," said Wane.

"It's down to the mentality of the players and how they approach the game and that was outstanding.

"I knew we were in the zone and I could tell in our team meeting the players were in a good place."

St Helens were also among the big winners on Easter Monday with a 48-18 victory over Castleford although coach Nathan Brown is now counting the cost after injury to Josh Perry.

Perry, who is in his third season with the Saints after joining from NRL outfit Manly, claimed his first two tries for the club in the defeat of the Tigers while Joe Greenwood also scored twice.

However the 32-year-old went off in the late stages with a shoulder injury with coach Brown keeping his fingers crossed that the problem won't be too serious.

"We are not sure to the extent of it but the initial reports aren't good," said Brown.

"He got two nice tries. Hopefully it is not as bad as they are thinking at the moment."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130401/rugbyl-sinfield-hails-leeds-champion-performance