Leeds Rhinos: Hard work ahead for faltering champions - Mac

Mitch Achurch
Mitch Achurch
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COACH BRIAN McDermott says he knows where Leeds Rhinos are going wrong, but admits putting things right is a “different matter”.

Rhinos suffered their sixth defeat in eight First Utility Super League rounds when Craig Hall’s late try secured a stunning 20-16 success for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Headingley yesterday. McDermott said: “There’s some obvious things that are not there for us. We know what’s wrong, but going out there and executing that is a different matter. That’s what makes sport really interesting. It’s not sliderules and science.

“If we could press a few buttons and all of a sudden people start playing well and people get confidence, we’d all be coaches.”

Yesterday’s defeat completed a miserable Easter for Rhinos, who also lost at Castleford Tigers last Thursday.

“That’s the game, isn’t it,” McDermott said. “You’ve got to be as good at this end of the table and we’ve been at the other end.

“We’ve got some hard work to do and some things we need to fix up. I’m confident the group will do that.”

Rhinos are back in home action in three days’ time, against fellow strugglers Hull KR. McDermott said there are “chances” of players returning from injury for that match.

In contrast, it was Wildcats’ second victory over Easter – and since Chris Chester took over as coach.

“I am really proud of them,” said Chester, who was appointed two weeks ago, but only officially began work in the build-up to Friday’s win against Huddersfield.

“We toughed it out, certainly in the second half. I thought we were worthy winners.

“It was a fantastic win. I think it’s the first time this club has got two wins over Easter.

“I am really proud of everybody from one to 17.”

Chester denied being worried when Mitch Achurch’s try edged Leeds ahead with 12 minutes left.

The coach felt Wildcats were unlucky not to be more than 8-6 up at half-time.

And he insisted: “We showed a lot of character and a lot of resilience in the second half.

“We found a way to win the game and it was a special play by Craig Hall to go the full length of the pitch.”