Hull FC v Leeds Rhinos: Leeds need to be switched on from the off says McDermott

Brian McDermott.

Brian McDermott.

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BOSS BRIAN McDermott says Leeds Rhinos face a “real challenge” away to Hull tonight.

“They play with a lot of energy to start with and it’s almost like they put all their eggs in that basket and try and come out faster than the opposition,” McDermott said of Leeds’ latest opponents.

“It is going to be a really tough test for us, this one. That’s what we are gearing up for, a huge test.”

Rhinos lost 24-19 at KC Stadium last September, after leading 19-4 and haven’t won there in Super League since 2011.

“Last time we played there was towards the back end of last year and it was horrendous weather as well,” McDermott recalled.

“That game has to be seen in the context of where we were at the time and the weather and hopefully it won’t be like that again.”

Hull are on a two-game losing run, while Leeds have a 100 per cent record so far, but McDermott reckons his side have yet to produce an 80-minute performance this season. They made a fast start against Huddersfield seven days ago, but let an 18-0 lead slip and trailed late on before Paul Aiton’s try six minutes from time secured a precious win.

“I don’t think we’ve been great throughout the whole game yet, in any of the three games we’ve played,” McDermott said. “We’ve had spells when we’ve been very, very good and then we’ve had spells when we’ve had a lot of things to work on. We certainly need to be big to start with and we need to be switched on because Hull are going to throw everything at us in the early exchanges.

“For our development and our consistency we need to be good for longer periods than we have been so far.”

McDermott said inconsistency is expected early in the season, but he added: “You’re still not happy when it happens. You want your not-so-good periods to be getting less and less each week and when they do happen to not be lasting as long. Credit to Huddersfield last week, they did well to come back, but at the same time I thought it was a frustrating game and we were frustrated with ourselves and how we dropped off in one or two areas.”

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