LEEDS RHINOS boss Brian McDermott has hailed “game-breaker” Liam Sutcliffe.
The 20-year-old returned at stand-off in last Friday’s 41-16 win at St Helens, scoring a try, producing a pin-point kick for another and booting three goals to enhance his claim to be the long-term successor to captain Kevin Sinfield.
McDermott said: “He comes up with one or two things that broke the game, especially in the first half.
“He gets given the ball in some situations where you’re not sure what’s on – added to that a bit of control and a bit of maturity.”
The coach was happy with his team’s performance with the ball and in defence, as well as their attitude, but felt Saints pushed them closer than the scoreline suggests.
“I didn’t need to say anything at half-time,” he said. “They pretty much covered everything in terms of what we needed to be better at.
“The scoreline (28-6 at the break) was great, it was a great scoreline to have, but I think we scored a couple of long-range tries and a bit of a jagged try in that first half and fashioned two tries.
“I didn’t think we were in such control of the game that the scoreline had us at. We still had some work to do in the second half. In the second half Saints pretty much threw everything at us. I thought they defended really, really tough. We found that second half unbelievably tough.”
Rhinos are in action on Friday, at home to the only team to beat them so far this year, Warrington Wolves.