LEEDS RHINOS must improve, but they can be happy with a priceless win.
That was the reaction from coach Brian McDermott after a tense 22-18 victory at Salford Red Devils last night.
“We need to do better,” said McDermott, whose team moved up a place to second in the first Utility Super League table.
“At the same time, we have got to keep it real. We faced a pumped team and a good crowd.
“It was a good contest throughout. We didn’t face a poor Salford. There are things we need to improve upon, but not massively.”
Rhinos withstood strong pressure in the final quarter and McDermott said: “It wasn’t as pretty as it could have been, but Salford are a good team.
“They are good defensively and we found it hard to find some gaps out there. Our outside-backs were well-watched, so a lot of respect goes to Salford.”
McDermott was relieved to win a close game, after last week’s draw with Castleford and the last-minute defeat at Wakefield earlier in the month.
“If that had been another draw I would have been disappointed,” he said. “I thought we did enough to win that game. But if Salford had won the game – because we had some moments of concentration lapses in the second-half, especially defensively – I wouldn’t have had too much problem either.”
A series of last-ditch tackles protected Rhinos’ lead late on.
“We have said before, we can’t be relying on that,” McDermott said. “We have got to make sure we don’t allow teams those opportunities.”