Leeds Rhinos: Mac impresssed as Rhinos down Wigan

Stevie Ward's first try
Stevie Ward's first try
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BOSS BRIAN McDermott was “pretty impressed” with Leeds Rhinos’ 32-16 win over Wigan Warriors which kicked off their Betfred Super-8s campaign.

McDermott described it as a significant victory and admitted he hadn’t been sure how his team would react after the disappointment of last week’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final defeat.

Ashton Golding

Ashton Golding

Rhinos saw an early 10-0 lead wiped out and it was all-square at the break, but McDermott’s men turned on the style in the second half.

Leeds’ win – coupled with defeats for Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity – means they are six points clear of fifth place, with the top-four at the end of the Super-8s set to contest the semi-finals.

McDermott said: “We were pretty good, I was pretty impressed.

“It has been a flat week, the loss in the Cup semi-final flattened everyone.

“I wasn’t sure what we’d deliver, but it was great to see – there was lots of energy and we defended what they threw at us.”

McDermott gave the credit for Rhinos’ response to his players and paid tribute to second-rower Stevie Ward after he scored the first senior hat-trick of his career.

“He is a brilliant player,” McDermott said. “He can carry it like a prop and defend like a prop, but also out-pace people and find a pass.”

McDermott was also delighted with two-try full-back Ashton Golding. “He has got some improvement in his game, but tonight he was very good,” said the coach.

Jack Ormondroyd in action for Featherstone.

Leeds Rhinos and Featherstone Rovers continue dual-reg agreement