boss brian McDermott was happy with the contribution of stand-in full-back Liam Sutcliffe, but less than delighted with Leeds Rhinos’ overall performance in yesterday’s 58-26 win at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Sutcliffe scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked two conversions as Rhinos’ second victory in six league games lifted them back above St Helens into top spot in First Utility Super League.
The 20-year-old, a specialist stand-off, filled in for injured No 1 Zak Hardaker and McDermott said: “I thought he played well.
“He has certainly got some offensive capabilities. It is different when you play full-back and he had a few decisions to make, both with the ball and without it.
“I don’t know how much he got tested as a full-back defensively, but he looked the part – albeit in a funny type of game.”
Leeds, who led 24-10 at half-time, ran in seven tries in the third quarter, before Wildcats hit back with three late consolation touchdowns.
“I didn’t think we were great in the first 40 minutes,” McDermott conceded. “I thought our game-management at times was terrible. I thought our kicking game at times wasn’t great.
“Some of our decisions to pass and our decisions to try and find another pass, it almost looks a bit disrespectful to the opposition about what they’re capable of if you give them that much ball. I thought we were a bit silly in the first half and it didn’t need to look like that.”