Leeds Rhinos: McDermott backing for struggling champions

Carl Ablett
Carl Ablett
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DEFIANT BOSS Brian McDermott insists he is convinced Leeds Rhinos will climb out of their current hole.

Last year’s treble winners dropped to second from bottom in First Utility Super League when they were crushed 30-10 by Hull KR at Headingley Carnegie last night.

It was Leeds’ third defeat in nine days and their seventh loss from nine league games since winning last October’s Grand Final.

“It is a tough situation,” McDermott said.

“Tough situations are made tougher if you don’t have any answers – if you have a group of blokes you don’t trust.

“There are some moments out there where people rightly will be asking questions.

“I am not going to try and say they shouldn’t be asking questions.

“But I am convinced the group will get out of this, absolutely convinced of it. It hurts, it is an emotionally tough situation to be in.

“We’ve been in some emotionally tough situations in my time at Leeds and the group...I can’t have any more trust in the group.

“I am confident we will get some momentum and we’ll string some games together.”

McDermott refused to discount Rhinos’ chances of qualifying for the top-four, but admitted time is running out.

He also declined to make excuses, but admitted injuries and the loss of their Kirkstall training ground, which was flooded on Boxing Day, is having a bearing on the team’s form.

McDermott revealed Brett Ferres, who has missed the last two games, could be facing a lengthy lay off due to a calf tear, while Josh Walters left the ground with his foot in a protective boot.

But he said captain Danny McGuire came through his return from injury last night unscathed.

Leeds trailed 10-0 at the break and were 20-0 behind early in the second period before staging a rally in the final quarter.

McDermott said: “As bad as that looked – and it did look bad at times, especially defensively – we were a couple of passes and a couple of moments away from keeping in the game and maybe taking the lead in the first half.

“But at the same time we are asking too many questions of each other when we have certain periods defensively.”