LEEDS RHINOS have given themselves a significant advantage by securing four home games in the Qualifiers, coach Brian McDermott says.
Rhinos climbed to ninth in First Utility Super League after last night’s 24-20 win at Hull KR.
Salford Red Devils will overtake them if they beat leaders Hull tonight, but Leeds are now guaranteed to finish outside the bottom two. Super League’s ninth and 10th-placed teams will have four home games and three away in the upcoming relegation battle, with the situation reversed for the teams below them.
McDermott said: “I think there’s some significance there.
“I don’t think it will be the decider, but playing in front of our fans is great.”
Last night was Leeds’ fifth win in six games and McDermott reckoned it was a game they would have lost earlier in the year.
“There was some anxious energy because we could have finished bottom, which we did not want to do,” McDermott said.
“I think going into the middle-eights with some momentum is important. I thought it was an anxious performance, but you’ve got to give Hull KR some credit, they didn’t want to roll over and had a huge dig.
“We clearly dropped too much ball and offensively some of the errors were just silly. I put that down to a bit of anxiety about what might be.
“It got to us a bit, but we toughed that one out.
“We want to win games, but we also want to learn and improve. We haven’t had a game like that for quite some time. We have been in control of games and we lacked control of that for various reasons, yet still came up with the goods.
“In the earlier part of the year we would not have come up with the goods.”
Rhinos’ medical staff will check on half-back Jordan Lilley, who McDermott said has been playing with a shoulder injury.
McDermott was delighted with the performance of hooker James Segeyaro, who scored his first try for Leeds and played the full 80 minutes.
Said the team boss: “He had some nice little touches there and he was the bloke who defensively attacked their attack right at the back of the game to force an error.”