Leeds Rhinos: Smash and grab victory in France

Ryan Hall
Ryan Hall
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Leeds Rhinos were home in England today after a smash and grab raid brought two points back from France.

LEEDS RHINOS were home in England today after a smash and grab raid brought two points back from France.

Rhinos over-powered Catalan Dragons 40-12 last night, making the journey to and from Perpignan on the day of the game.

The result extended Rhinos’ winning start to the season to three games, but boss Brian McDermott said they had been forced to work hard in the opening stages.

“We planned for it being a tough fixture,” McDermott said after the game. “For a good half an hour it was as tough as it has been this year.

“We were also aware they were missing some very, very important people from their team.

“We knew they would be massive for the first half an hour and if we could just live it with them, we may have some opportunities later in the first half. It pretty much went to script, but for that to happen we had to be very tough. They scored a very good try early on and it was a massive contest for half an hour.”

The coach insists Rhinos still need to improve.

“I thought we looked for too much, especially in that second half.

“We got a bit loose and scrappy, but credit to Catalans, they would not go away.”

Skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked six goals from as many attempts and scored a try after McDermott initially feared he would not be fit enough to play.

The stand-off twisted an ankle in the win over Warrington seven days earlier and McDermott said: “I thought he’s probably be out for two weeks – I would have put my house on him missing one.

“It is remarkable what can happen with medicine and it is great credit to our physio Andy Barker and to Kevin, who did everything he could in the week to make sure he’d be all right.”

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