Leeds Rhinos: McDermott’s expecting a tough test at the Dragons

Brian McDermott.

Brian McDermott.

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BOSS BRIAN McDermott is expecting to face a Catalans Dragons side at their best in Perpignan today.

Catalans are on a two-match losing run and have failed to pick up a point away from home this season, but are unbeaten in three matches at Stade Gilbert Brutus.

“They do their home fixture very well, the team and the club,” McDermott said.

“It is a good occasion and a tough place to go and get a result.

“Normally it is a battle, they are a physical team. Catalans have been for a number of years now and they have got some clever players.

“Scott Dureau is back and he makes them a good footballing team.”

Rhinos – who are hunting a sixth win in seven First Utility Super League matches this term – are second in the table, but McDermott insisted it’s far too early for them to start enjoying the view.

“It is tight,” he said. “We have only played six rounds and some teams aren’t where they would want to be, but a couple of wins and the table will change.

“It’s the same for the teams at the top.

“It does start to take shape a bit, but nobody can afford to sit back and admire it. You have got to crack on.

“People up at the top want to start getting some daylight between them and the chasing pack and the chasing pack want to start closing that gap.

“There is everything to play for. It is round seven this weekend and that’s crazy, it feels like we have only just started.

“There isn’t that much time to lose games and drop points and not be good.

“There is a sense of urgency for everybody this year, that they have to be as good as they possibly can be.”

Last week’s victory over Wigan Warriors got Rhinos back on track after a loss at Warrington Wolves and McDermott feels they will go into today’s game in good form.

He said: “I thought last week we made a huge amount of improvement in a lot of areas.

“We looked a lot more controlled attacking the opposition’s tryline and we continued with some intensity in our defence, though I still think there’s some improvement in us.”

Leeds Rhinos' Rob Burrow, above right, scored two tries against Bradford Bulls at Odsal in March 2005.

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