ANGRY boss Brian McDermott has turned up the heat ahead of Leeds Rhinos’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final at Hull on Friday.
Rhinos regained top spot in First Utility Super League – by a point from St Helens – after a 32-20 home win over Hull yesterday.
But the victory came at a cost with half-backs Liam Sutcliffe and Danny McGuire and prop Adam Cuthbertson all being hurt.
McGuire was helped off in the second half after suffering an ankle injury in a tackle by Hull’s former Castleford Tigers scrum-half Marc Sneyd.
The Hull man was sin-binned and McGuire also received a yellow card, for lashing out. McDermott said McGuire is “very doubtful” for Friday’s tie.
“He could have broken his ankle, by the looks of it,” said the coach.
“He’s not walking, he can’t even put it down on the ground.
“It’s a bad one. What we do with the loss of Danny McGuire, who has been single-handedly our best player all year, I am not sure.
“I’m not sure how we get over that.”
The Leeds boss was upset at referee Robert Hicks’s decision to banish McGuire for 10 minutes.
“This point is about the understanding of what a sin-bin’s used for,” he said.
“I am that angry that our game can get it confused to such a level.
“My understanding was that [sin-bin should be used for] some blokes who push after the ball’s been passed, or shoulder barging or fighting or some little indiscretion where it’s more than a penalty.
“The kid makes a break and in an offensive advantage has his ankle twisted and rolled. Even the referee signalled that.
“In desperation to not have his ankle broke he kicks out to get the bloke off his ankle, that’s trying to break his ankle.
“He gets sin-binned for it. It worries me that we’ve got that wrong. The game’s got that wrong.”
Rhinos were never behind in yesterday’s game, but led by only four points with five minutes left, before a penalty and converted try sealed only their third win in eight league matches since April.
“It was a tough one, Hull are a good team,” McDermott said.
“Hull have been on a bit of a roll and started to gain some momentum.
“They are a lot better than their league position suggests. We prepared for a good team and we got challenged a lot.
“There was a couple of occasions when I could look at our team and say we need to be better defensively, a couple of soft misses, but they never give up, Hull.
“They have got enough quality there. They are going to be a very, very good team on Friday at their place.
“They are going to be full of enthusiasm I’m sure. They are going to have a reaction, a huge reaction I should imagine.”
McDermott is hopeful Brett Delaney (hamstring) could return from injury on Friday, but said Jamie Jones-Buchanan “probably” won’t be available and Mitch Achurch and Tom Briscoe are a “number of weeks away”.
McGuire was on crutches after the game, with his damaged ankle in a protective boot.
He described the injury as “sore”, but was hopeful there is no break.
Singleton (knee) was due to undergo a scan today and Cuthbertson (calf) also wore a boot after the match.
Meanwhile, second-row Ben Frankland scored two tries for Rhinos under-19s in a 25-12 win over Warrington Wolves at Stanningley.
Full-back Nick Rawsthorn and winger Ben Jones also crossed and stand-off Joe Sanderson kicked four goals and a drop.
Malta beat Belgium 35-34 in yesterday’s curtain-raiser at Headingley, which was the first rugby league meeting between the two nations.