BOSS BRIAN McDermott was pleased with the way Leeds Rhinos finished in last night’s 38-6 win over Widnes Vikings – but admitted they have to start better.
It was 6-6 at half-time and Rhinos led only 14-6 deep into the second period, but four tries in the final 13 minutes sealed Leeds’ first win in five home matches.
“There’s a few positives to take out of it,” McDermott said.
“It was a tough game, but I am keen to say we made it tougher than it needed to be.
“That sounds a bit disrespectful to Widnes and I don’t mean it that way, but they came with a bit of a dogged mentality.
“I thought the ruck was very slow. They got involved defensively and that slowed us down around the ruck.
“They got penalised a few times and rightly so for making the ruck slow, but that was their tactic and I don’t blame them for that.
“We had to adjust and I thought it took us too long to react to how to play that type of ruck.
“We got involved in an old-style arm wrestle and there was a serious risk of it continuing that way, but at the back end we saw some of the things we could do.”
McDermott added: “Late on we scored some fantastic tries, which probably aren’t realistic – we’re not going to score those tries every single week. But in the period before it opened up, I thought we opened up and fashioned a little bit and schemed with each other and scored some decent tries.”
It was Rhinos’ second win of the season and they have now scored seven tries in each of their two matches this year.
“I thought we were dogged defensively,” McDermott said.
“For 60 minutes it was role reversal from last week, we were very good defensively, but stuttering in attack.
“We will put the two together in the next game, hopefully.”