LEEDS RHINOS climbed two places to second in Betfred Super League after battling to a 24-22 home win over St Helens last night.
The victory – six days after they were beaten at home by Castleford Tigers –maintained Rhinos’ record of not having suffered back to back losses this year.
Saints led twice, but four goals from recalled half-back Jordan Lilley edged Rhinos closer to a top-four finish.
“Overall I am very pleased,” said Leeds coach Brian McDermott. “We were really challenged by a determined Saints.
“We had to overcome a bit of adversity with suspensions and injuries. “We have some things to work on, but we mustered up enough to get a win. We got put on the back foot a couple of times and we needed to have something about us, a bit of fight behind us.”
Seventeen-year-old full-back Jack Walker was Rhinos’ man of the match. McDermott said: “He good. He took some challenging high balls and looked okay with the ball in his hand.
For him to play at Headingley against St Helens he will have progressed and his development will be better for it.Brian McDermott on Jack Walker
“It was a big game for him. For him to play at Headingley against St Helens he will have progressed and his development will be better for it.”
McDermott feels Lilley is better for his spell on loan at Bradford Bulls.
He said: “I have to give coach Geoff Toovey at Bradford a lot of credit. He has been doing a great job with him. The speed of the game and some of the athletes he was facing was a bit different to what he’s used to, but he had a good effect on us.”