Leeds Rhinos: We got through some ‘scary moments’ admits Leeds coach McDermott

Tom Briscoe celebrates his opening try.
Tom Briscoe celebrates his opening try.
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THERE WERE some “scary moments” in Leeds Rhinos 23-20 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round win at Widnes Vikings last night, boss Brian McDermott admitted, writes PETER SMITH.

Rhinos led 23-4 after 50 minutes, but were put under huge pressure after that as Widnes almost pulled the game from the fire.

Matt Parcell is slapped down by Hep Cahill.

Matt Parcell is slapped down by Hep Cahill.

“I thought we were pretty robust in the first half, a bit too much actually,” McDermott said. “A couple of opportunities were missed, but we were solid.

“For 10 minutes in the second half we were very good, but we went into a bit of a tail spin. We allowed them to run stronger and be big and athletic because we couldn’t get hold of the game. That’s happened the previous four years we’ve been here, but we won and we showed enough effort to get the game.

“We were on the cusp of putting 30 more points on them. I thought we were ready to open up, but we didn’t.”

It was Leeds’ first win at Widnes since 2014 and McDermott admitted: “There were a few moments when it got a bit scary, for the last 15 minutes of the game, but sometimes for a young group you have these games, you remember these games.

“Everyone’s frustrated and thinks we should have been better, but we won and we are in the bag for the next round.”

Rhinos forward Carl Ablett was injured in the opening quarter. McDermott said: “He has done something to his ankle, but I don’t think it’s long-term. The likelihood is he will miss next week.”

Mikolaj Oledzki suffered cramp in the final stages, but recovered after the game.

Prolific Featherstone Rovers winger Luke Briscoe has been told his try-scoring feats were NOT actually a world record.

When he crossed for the 17th successive game in Thursday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie against Hull FC, it was reported that levelled with Leeds winger Eric Harris’s all-time record set in 1935-36. However, it has since emerged that Liam Georgetown, a player for Redcliffe Dolphins, scored tries in 19 consecutive games during 2012-13.

Briscoe said: “Seventeen is still level with the British record. I’m really pleased with that and it was great to get it.”