BOSS BRIAN McDermott saluted a “fantastic” attacking performance after Leeds Rhinos thrashed Warrington Wolves 49-10 last night.
The win lifted Rhinos two points clear of Wigan Warriors – who they play next Friday – in the Super-8s table.
But Rhinos’ night was marred by an injury to hooker Paul Aiton, who suffered a suspected broken arm and is set to be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Rhinos, who trailed 6-0 early on, led 24-6 at the interval and ran in eight tries to avenge home and away defeats by Warrington in the regular season.
Coach McDermott was as happy with the way his team “managed” the game early on as he was with their eight-try haul.
He said: “The first 40 minutes at times were very dangerous.
“Warrington are a good team who’re not playing well.
“The potential for them to click is there.
“For the first 40 we were managing things well, but we were very wary of a good Warrington team.
“In the second half it opened up and at times we were fantastic. Defensively we did the job as well.”
McDermott praised “ultimate competitor” Zak Hardaker and also hailed Mitch Garbutt for a strong display on his first Leeds start.
He added: “I thought JP [Jamie Peacock] was outstanding. Kylie and Brad Singleton are in good nick as well.”
Warrington’s former Leeds coach Tony Smith was full of praise for his old club.
He said: “That was pretty exceptional, it’s the best I have seen the Rhinos this year. I thought they were really good against Saints to start the game last week and then fell away.
“They didn’t fall away tonight. They were rampant.
“I don’t think many teams would have competed with the Rhinos the way they were.
“I thought we did well to contain them to that score at times, until the back end of it.”