Leeds Rhinos: McDermott backs continued internationals despite ‘flat’ finalé

Brian McDermott.
Brian McDermott.
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the world Club Series should continue, despite last weekend’s whitewash, according to Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott.

Australian NRL clubs won all three matches against their English opponents, with St George Illawarra beating Warrington Wolves 18-12, Brisbane Broncos pipping Wigan Warriors 14-12 in sudden-death extra-time and South Sydney Rabbitohs thrashing St Helens 39-0 in the World Club Challenge between the two competitions’ champions.

All three English clubs were at home and the Aussie season has yet to begin, but McDermott – a World Club champion as both a player and coach – reflected: “You have to be pragmatic about what’s gone on.

“You can focus on the scoreline (in the World Club Challenge), but we all know Saints are a better team than that.

“I didn’t look at Souths at any point and think ‘wow’. They are a good team, a great team, very well coached and deserved the win, but I have seen them absolutely blow NRL teams away last year.

“I remember looking at some games and thinking ‘wow, they’re a good team’. I didn’t think that (on Sunday), I just thought it was a bit flat, I thought Saints were a bit under-cooked and before you knew it they were 24-0 down.”

McDermott added: “You have to give Souths credit for going on and being ruthless after that and some of their goalline defence did have the wow-factor.

“But in terms of how we view our competition, there’s been enough positives come out of the series that should make people think we should continue this; maybe expand it, maybe stick with the same format, but let’s have a better go at it next year.

“There’s some things we need to look at and some things we can learn from.

“The ruthlessness Souths showed in the second half, I think we all aspire to that.”