BOSS Brian McDermott felt Leeds Rhinos were “poor” in Thursday night’s shock 31-12 home loss to Huddersfield Giants.
It was 12-12 at the break, but Leeds were outscored 19-0 in the second half by visitors who had not won for more than two months and were knocked-out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup by part-timers Swinton Lions.
A win would have taken Rhinos two points clear at the top of Betfred Super League, but Castleford Tigers now retain pole position going into tomorrow’s visit of third-placed Wigan Warriors.
McDermott said: “I give Huddersfield a lot of credit, they were tenacious and showed a lot of endeavour.
“I didn’t think it was a great game. They absolutely deserved the win, but I wouldn’t put it down to a great performance by Huddersfield, we were poor.”
The turning point in the game came in the second half, when video referee Robert Hicks disallowed a touchdown by Rhinos skipper Danny McGuire for an obstruction.
“It looked like a try to me,” said McDermott, who was upset with his team’s “lack of bite”.
Of the missed opportunity to go top, McDermott admitted: “We’re not good enough to lead the comp’ at the moment.”
Giants’ win – the day after the death of chairman Ken Davy’s wife Jennifer – relieved some of the pressure on their coach Rick Stone. He said: “I think everyone can be proud of the club. It was our best defensive effort of the season. Everyone stood up and we competed hard for 80 minutes.”
They absolutely deserved the win, but I wouldn’t put it down to a great performance by Huddersfield, we were poor.Leeds Rhinos’ boss, Brian McDermott