Leeds Rhinos 70 Salford 6: McDermott launches broadside at Red Devils owner Koukash

Brian McDermott.

Brian McDermott.

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COACH BRIAN McDermott saluted a “ruthless” display from his Leeds Rhinos team after they regained top spot in First Utility Super League by thrashing Salford Red Devils 70-6.

COACH BRIAN McDermott saluted a “ruthless” display from his Leeds Rhinos team after they regained top spot in First Utility Super League by thrashing Salford Red Devils 70-6.

It was Rhinos’ highest score since a 76-12 win over Castleford in August 2009 and McDermott – who fired an astonishing broadside at Salford owner Marwan Koukash – admitted he “did not see” such a rout coming.

Rhinos led 40-0 at half-time and scored 13 tries and McDermott said: “We’ve all experienced some second half dips after being so far in front, so to continue with that is a decent sign of our intentions.”

McDermott hailed back-rowers Brett Delaney and Jimmy Keinhorst, who were among Rhinos’ try scorers and said he was pleased with the way his men “stamped their authority” on the match in the early stages.

The win lifted Rhinos back above St Helens into pole position with one round of the regular season remaining and ended second-bottom Salford’s hopes of a place in the Super-8s. But asked if he was disappointed it wasn’t a closer game, McDermott said: “I didn’t see that one coming. Having coached London I have got experience of being on the end of bad scorelines. The Salford players are not that bad. To concede 70 points, at times you have to ask that many questions of players, but on this occasion Marwan Koukash has to stand up and apologise to everybody. The way he has conducted himself, [it] embarrasses me to be involved in rugby league when there’s an owner of a club conducting himself like he is, saying what he wants, when he wants, how he wants.

“I think he’s got to realise that’s not how you lead a club. They’re not that bad that group of players.

“What you saw out there was a completely demoralised, shot group of players who lack confidence.

“It’s not because they’ve had bad coaching or have got bad conditioners, but they’re demoralised because of things that go on off the field.

“I wouldn’t want to be led by a person whose as erratic and says the things he does about his own group of players.

“That’s absolutely his fault. There’s some good men in that team. Whether they are good players or not we can all debate, but there’s some good people and they don’t give up that easily.

“You’ve got to ask the question why. Lessons on leadership - there’s a big one out there for the owner tonight.”

Jamie Jones-Buchanan

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