Leeds Rhinos: Mac concedes Leeds won’t finish top after Tigers loss

Mitch Garbutt presses forward
Mitch Garbutt presses forward
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BOSS BRIAN McDermott has conceded defeat in the race for the Betfred Super League leaders’ shield after last night’s 23-12 defeat to Castleford Tigers.

With St Helens beating Salford and Hull winning at home to Wakefield, Tigers are now seven points clear at the top. Rhinos dropped a place to fourth and coach Brian McDermott said top spot on the table is now beyond his team.

Danny McGuire breaks forward.

Danny McGuire breaks forward.

“I think it’s Cas’ – I think they have got that,” he said.

“It’s maybe not in the cupboard, but the cupboard’s open, waiting.”

Of last night’s game, McDermott reflected: “We dropped the ball too much, but there was some real character there.

“To lose by 11 points after the amount of defence we had to do shows there’s something to build on.

Leeds' Mitch Garbutt is held by Tigers' Adam Milner

Leeds' Mitch Garbutt is held by Tigers' Adam Milner

“I don’t think we will be as poor as that again this year with the ball. Add a bit of offense and it would have been interesting.”

Tigers coach Daryl Powell described his side’s performance as “awesome” and felt they “answered some doubters” following last Sunday’s Challenge Cup loss at Hull.

He said: “Defensively we were superb. We exorcised some demons from the game against Salford when it was wet and we didn’t play.

“We played enough without going over the top. Luke Gale was outstanding.

“He controlled the game and our defensive effort was excellent.

“It was an excellent performance from us in tough conditions.”

Disgraced England star Zak Hardaker in action for Castleford Tigers. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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