BOSS BRIAN McDermott was full of praise for 17-year-old full-back Jack Walker who scored a hat-trick on his debut in last night’s 64-28 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win over Doncaster.
Walker went over three times in 16 first-half minutes, becoming only the eighth player to score a debut hat-trick for Leeds.
McDermott said: “We know what his game is about – lots of support, he sniffs about and probes in attack, but there were two tries in particular I was pretty impressed with, where he had to go above and beyond to get the ball down.
“The last time I saw someone as impressive on his debut was Stevie Ward.
“As well as scoring three tries he showed some real good awareness in offense.”
McDermott was happy with Leeds’ other try-scoring debutant, 18-year-old Mikolaj Oledzki and unconcerned by a poor second-half performance.
Leeds led 44-4 at the break, but were out-scored 24-20 after that.
McDermott admitted Rhinos were in a no-win situation against the Kingstone Press League One part-timers and said a series of changes – with some players moved out of position – had an impact late on..
“In the first half I was really impressed with how we went about things,” he said. “Doncaster had a crack and made it a contest in the second half. They went down trying and should be proud of that.”