Leeds Rhinos: McDermott delighted by Cuthbertson’s contribution to the cause

Paul Aiton and Jamie Jones-Buchanan celebrate Adam Cuthbertson's try against Wigan.
Paul Aiton and Jamie Jones-Buchanan celebrate Adam Cuthbertson's try against Wigan.
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BOSS BRIAN McDermott is delighted with the contribution Aussie recruit Adam Cuthbertson is making to Leeds Rhinos’ early-season form.

The former Newcastle Knights prop was man of the match in last Friday’s 26-14 win over Wigan Warriors, when he scored his third try in as many home matches.

Cuthbertson, who qualifies to play for England, has been one of Rhinos’ outstanding players so far this year and McDermott reckons his toughness and skill with the ball have made him an ideal fit in Leeds’ squad.

“He certainly can play with the ball,” McDermott said. “He is a ball-player and he can read the game.

“If he was a little bit sharper and faster he might be able to play in the pivots, he is that good.

“But he has got the grunt about him as well and he starts as a front-rower.

“He can do a massive amount of game time too and his involvements in the game, both on attack and defence are very good.

“He really is a continuous player who seems to be involved in most things we do.”

McDermott added: “Add him alongside Jamie Peacock and Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who have got a huge amount of involvement.

“Stevie Ward is having a cracking season so far and put a splash of Paulie Aiton in there as well and it makes them a very threatening pack.”

Meanwhile, winger Tom Briscoe is due to see a specialist to determine the extent of the shoulder damage which kept him out of Friday’s game.

McDermott admitted the injury, which he said will require surgery, is a significant blow to Rhinos.

“It is a shame for him,” the coach said.

“He has been one of our best players and he’s certainly been one of the best wingers in the competition.

“He has had a big influence on how we perform week-in and week-out.”