Veteran centre Keith Senior has apologised for his outburst against referee Richard Silverwood in the aftermath of Leeds' 18-10 defeat in the World Club Challenge.
The former Great Britain international initially defended himself over the penalty that swung the match away from the Rhinos and accused Silverwood of arrogance, saying: "I'm sick of him, he's arrogant. I've had him many times. A lot of players don't like playing with him. He likes to be the centre of attention and he got his way tonight."
Later, however, Senior confessed he had allowed his emotions to get the better of him and issued a statement through the club apologising for his comments.
"I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my comments following our defeat to Melbourne," 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."
Senior's apology may be enough to avoid a charge from the Rugby Football League, although his comments will be scrutinised by the match review panel.
Leeds also say Senior will meet with Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington to explain his comments and ascertain whether he breached the club's disciplinary policy.