DISAPPOINTED boss Brian McDermott has accepted Leeds Rhinos will have to do it the hard way to regain the Super League title this year.
Last night’s 21-6 defeat at Wigan Warriors left Rhinos sixth in the table with only one game to play.
They could still finish as high as fourth if Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers both lose tomorrow, but if they each win, Leeds will be marooned.
Rhinos have now lost four successive league games and McDermott said: “The likelihood is we are going to be fifth or sixth. We will plan for that. We are really disappointed we are not in the top-four, that’s a big thing for us, but at the same time play-offs are an exciting prospect and we’ll try and do it from sixth if that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Rhinos trailed 14-0 at the break yesterday and McDermott admitted they improved in the second half, but too many errors cost them the game.“The way we played in the first half, 14-0 was too much,” he said. “We looked a lot better for a period of time in the second half and all of a sudden 14-0 didn’t look so bad.
“We scored a try and the way we were playing, 14-6 was very do-able. But then we dropped too much ball. At crucial times, when we started to turn it our way, we lost the ball and that was the game.”
McDermott is hopeful Danny McGuire (ribs) and Rob Burrow (groin) will be fit to return for next Friday’s final game of the regular season, at Hull.