Leeds Rhinos: Mac’s ‘sorry’ to fans after capital defeat

Brian McDermott.
Brian McDermott.
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ANGRY BOSS Brian McDermott admitted he was sorry for the Leeds Rhinos fans who made yesterday’s 400-mile round trip to London Broncos.

Rhinos became the first team to lose to Broncos this year as the hosts roared back from 24-8 and 36-14 down to win 40-36.

Leeds will be back in the capital at the weekend when they take on Castleford Tigers in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

A win yesterday would have kept Rhinos in the hunt for the First Utility Super League leaders’ shield, but they are now four points behind table-topping St Helens, with only three rounds left.

McDermott left out nine players from his likely Wembley 17 and said Rhinos came through yesterday’s game with no new injuries. But he was scathing about the performance of unnamed individuals and said: “I feel sorry for our fans, who have travelled all the way down.

“There’ll be a lot of them, if not all of them, who will travel down again to Wembley. We feel for them at this stage.

“But it is what it is. We will have to deal with it and turn our attentions to the Cup next week.”

Asked if yesterday will have any bearing on preparations for the final, McDermott added: “It will have a bearing (today) when I drag those blokes in, certainly.

“The blokes that played and the blokes we feel were culpable, absolutely it will have a bearing on next week.

“But not in terms of those that didn’t play and the mainstay of the group that played today, that I thought had a real go. I thought Kallum Watkins was brilliant in that first half, he was sensational and we had some people that toiled away. We will have to do a job in making sure that they can get their heads focused on the Challenge Cup final, as of (today).

“But some other people will be held accountable, yes.”

21 January 2018......  Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos. Pre season friendly
Rhinos Kallum Watkins. Picture Tony Johnson.

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