Leeds Rhinos boss jumps to defence of under-scrutiny winger Tom Briscoe

Brian McDermott. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Brian McDermott. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
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DISAPPOINTED BOSS Brian McDermott reckoned Leeds Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final defeat was more due to Hull being good than his side playing poorly.

He said he didn’t feel Rhinos were “off” and insisted: “While we could be critical of some areas of our game, which we’d want to be better at, I think the loss is more to do with them being really good on game day.

“In a Challenge Cup semi-final when they get 12 and then 13 points in front that’s a lot and it demoralised us a little bit.”

McDermott said Rhinos, who trailed 18-12 at the break, spoke about “the usual things you address at half-time”, but he conceded: “We knew what we did in the first half wouldn’t be enough. We knew we needed to be better in the second half. It was a contest, but even in the first half Hull had a bit too much momentum and found field position a bit too easy.”

Rhinos winger Tom Briscoe had a torrid time on the end of kicks from man of the match Marc Sneyd. Questioned in the post-match press conference, McDermott said: “It’s something he’ll have to address and something we are addressing, but at the same time Ryan Hall goes and scores two tries and jumps over the top of their winger. As usual Tommy cops some stick and some questions. I wonder if you would ask the same questions of their coach of their winger.

“I’m watching tries get scored through wingers every single week, but when Tom concedes one, it’s a big issue for you people.”