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BOSS BRIAN MCDERMOTT hailed Leeds Rhinos’ defence for shutting Castleford Tigers out of yesterday’s West Yorkshire derby.

Rhinos are two points clear at the top of First Utility Super League after they won 26-12 at the Jungle and St Helens were beaten by Wigan Warriors.

“I am reasonably happy, I thought it was great actually,” McDermott said of his side’s seventh win in eight Super League rounds.

“It was a tough game and a contest throughout.

“I don’t think we ever got away from Castleford, they were always in touching distance.

“We didn’t see the best of Castleford, but I would give our players a lot of credit for that.

“Defensively we did a job there – and we needed to, because they can play.

“They have got some very good individuals in their team who, if you just drop off for a little bit, can be very tough to defend.

“We saw a lesser version of Castleford offensively and you credit our defence for that.”

Carl Ablett was hurt in the first half and McDermott revealed: “He has bust the skin on his finger, you can see his bone, but he should be all right on Monday, bizarrely. He hasn’t broken the bone, but you bend the finger back that much it splits like a banana skin. It is quite a common injury, he will have a bandage on it and he’ll be all right on Monday.”

Captain Kevin Sinfield could return, after a three-game lay-off due to a hamstring problem, when Leeds play bottom club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Headingley Carnegie on Monday afternoon.

McDermott said he will consider changes “where and when we can”. He added: “We’ve got some injuries, Josh Walters and Robbie Ward have leg injuries and we’ve got some fellas out on loan, to give them experience.

“We don’t have masses of troops waiting in the corridor, but we’ll rotate where we can.”