Leeds Rhinos: McDermott is philosophical after heavy Wigan defeat

Anthony Mullally
Anthony Mullally
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BOSS BRIAN McDermott was “not overly down” after his under-strength Leeds Rhinos side were beaten 34-0 at Wigan Warriors last night.

BOSS BRIAN McDermott was “not overly down” after his under-strength Leeds Rhinos side were beaten 34-0 at Wigan Warriors last night.

Jordan Lilley

Jordan Lilley

Rhinos – who face Hull in a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final in a week’s time – were without 15 first team players and used seven teenagers, three of them debutants.

It was the first time Leeds had been nilled since September, 1998 and McDermott said: “We are and I am disappointed with the scoreline – disappointed we didn’t score a try.

“On paper it was going to be a tough night.

“We’d have hoped it would be closer, but for lots and lots of it we put a fair amount of resistance up against nearly Wigan’s starting team.

Mitch Garbutt

Mitch Garbutt

“There were a fair amount of good bits for us to feel proud about.

“The half-time scoreline (14-0) was a better reflection than 34-0.”

McDermott admitted Rhinos conceded some “soft” tries when they tired, but he added: “I can’t tell you I am happy, but I am not overly down about it either.”

Alex Sutcliffe, Harvey Whiteley and Harry Newman all made their first senior appearance.

McDermott said his debutants did “all right” and he said: “There’s some harsh lessons to be learned about collision.

“They are experiences I can’t give them in training, some really valuable lessons there.”

Eight of the team which beat Hull last week did not play last night.

“Everybody thinks it’s a masterplan and a rouse,” McDermott said.

“We play a collision sport and every one of the players who didn’t play was either ruled out through concussion or got something that they’ve been carrying for a while.”

Asked how many of the players who dropped out could return for the semi-final at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, McDermott said: “I don’t know. I’d like all of them.

“I don’t think there’s a serious doubt on any of them.”

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