Leeds Rhinos: Coach Mac worried Chase’s absence might galvanise the Red Devils

Brian McDermott
Brian McDermott
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Leeds Rhinos have had to revise their defensive strategy for tomorrow’s trip to Salford Red Devils – and boss Brian McDermott reckons the hosts could be more dangerous without star man Rangi Chase.

The former Castleford Tigers stand-off is beginning a seven-match ban and McDermott confirmed: “It certainly changes our defensive game plan.

“It doesn’t make it easier, they have still got some very good players, but we don’t have to handle somebody who sometimes you can’t handle, sometimes you can’t really get a grip of him.

“The fact he is not in the team, we have a different, but no less difficult, defensive strategy.”

McDermott added: “Rangi Chase is a fantastic player and a big and influential player for them.

“The worry is they all circle the wagons and look to each other and become a more cohesive unit and become more of a threat as a team. We have to make sure there’s no backlash for us.

“We have to go there and play a determined Salford team, that’s what we are preparing for.”

First Utility Super League round 10 began with Leeds four points clear at the top of the table and Salford five points back in third.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve broken away,” McDermott stressed. “We’re four points clear, but lose a game and you’re in touching distance. We don’t feel comfortable with where we are, our task is to keep on striving like we’re in second or third.”