YIPpEE! That was Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott’s reaction to his side climbing off the foot of First Utility Super League.
Rhinos’ fourth win in five matches lifted them into 11th place, though Huddersfield Giants will overtake them if they beat St Helens tomorrow.
McDermott said: “Leeds have never finished bottom in their history, but the job’s not done yet. We are pleased [to be off the bottom] and let’s hope we can finish ninth.
Of Rhinos performance in last night’s 18-16 win, McDermott said: “I’m very pleased. We are still improving as a team and this group are learning some things together. Overall, great. We toughed it against a Wigan team who did not want to roll over.
“We had to find some answers, which is great. I thought there was more emotional toughness [than last week’s win over Hull].
“I thought we defended really well and controlled them.
“It got a bit emotional in that second half.
“We have thrown a few games away this year, so for various reasons that was very beneficial for us.”
Rhinos lost centre Joel Moon at half-time due to a sore knee.
McDermott said: “I don’t think it’s anything long-term.”
The Leeds boss called for a clampdown on tackles on a player’s standing leg after an incident involving Wigan’s Taulima Tautai in the first half.
The challenge, on Rhinos prop Adam Cuthbertson, went unpunished.
“Everybody in the game wants that type of tackle out of the game,” McDermott said, though he stressed he was not blaming Tautai or Wigan boss Shaun Wane.
Wigan had won their previous eight games, but Wane – who was presented with his Leeds heritage number before the match – had no complaints.
He said: “It is credit to their club they can respond and show up the way they did for each other. They were the better team.”
“You would not have thought they were resigned to the middle-8s. What they did was great, they were outstanding.”