Leeds Rhinos v Catalan Dragons: McDermott staying grounded

Match action from Leeds Rhinos v Catalan Dragons. PIC: Steve Riding
Match action from Leeds Rhinos v Catalan Dragons. PIC: Steve Riding
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BOSS Brian McDermott refused to get carried away after seeing his Leeds Rhinos side extend their winning run to five matches with a 30-6 success against Catalan Dragons.

Rhinos led only 12-6 late in the game, but ran in three tries in the final 10 minutes –two of them from 19-year-old winger Zak Hardaker.

McDermott was happy with his team’s defence, but admitted Catalan were below-strength – and he felt they struggled in the greasy conditions.

“It was a tough game,” McDermott admitted. “We had a fair share of defence to do, but we had a fair share of possession.

“That’s the toughest Catalans team – not in terms of head-high shots and fighting, but toughness as in a disciplined team – that I have seen for a while.

“They don’t go away, they don’t get lazy around the ruck and their goal line defence is hard to break down.”

McDermott feels Rhinos are heading in the right direction defensively after conceding too many points earlier in the campaign.

“We had two blunders in defence,” he said.

“One was when they were coming away from our tryline and one was near our tryline, which led to their try.

“If I can be saying that after a game, I think we have been strong throughout it. But the conditions hampered their attack and I have to acknowledge that they are missing some players, which hindered them.”

Kevin Sinfield has another influential match for Rhinos and McDermott said: “He is really managing games for us – some of that you see and some of it you don’t.

“His kicking game really suffocated them, it was great – and the final kick for Zak’s try was good to watch.”

Of Hardaker – who was recalled to the side in place of the injured Brent Webb – McDermott said: “I am not going to get carried away because he scored two tries, but he ran well and I thought he had a good game.

“It is good to know he has got that threat if we put him in.”

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