Huddersfield 24 Leeds Rhinos 24: McDermott proud of his battling team

PIC: Steve Riding
PIC: Steve Riding
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BOSS BRIAN McDermott was happy with Leeds Rhinos’ performance at Huddersfield Giants last night, despite seeing them go a second successive First Utilities Super League game without a win, writes PETER SMITH.

Rhinos led 22-8 at the break, but went 24-22 behind before half-back Liam Sutcliffe landed a penalty five minutes from time to salvage a share of the points.

McDermott – who referred to the game as a loss during his post-match press conference – said he was “immensely proud” of the way his team battled in the second half.

“I thought we were good throughout,” he said.

“Clearly we had more chances in the first half, but Huddersfield were very good in the second and stifled us of field position and possession.

“Some of the ball we did end up getting, we were too gassed to do anything with it.

“We showed some desire not to let the opposition score and I am immensely proud of what we did in the second half, because Huddersfield should probably have scored more tries.”

McDermott said skipper Kevin Sinfield, who was left out of the team last night and is set to join Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Club at the end of the year, still has a part to play for Rhinos this year.

“Liam Sutcliffe and Danny McGuire have been sensational this year,” McDermott said of last night’s half-back pairing.

“Of course he does [still have a role to play]. He is a fantastic player and a fantastic sportsman.

“He was disappointed, but he’s a pro.

“You admire him for what he does on the field and for how he conducts himself off it as well.”