THE 42-28 win at London Broncos left Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott with “mixed feelings”.
McDermott was pleased with the victory against his former club, which maintained Rhinos’ 100 per cent record in the First Utility Qualifiers, but admitted it was a sub-standard performance.
London led twice and scored three of the game’s final four tries.
Leeds only pulled away during a 15-minute spell either side of half-time, when they rattled up 22 unanswered points and McDermott said: “It was good to get the win, which is obviously important going forward.
“We had some spells when I thought we were really good and some other spells when I thought we were off.
“We made some periods of the game look really difficult with our, I suppose, lack of energy at times.
“I am pleased with the win and I think you’ve got to concede that London had a crack.
“They didn’t fall off like maybe Featherstone did in the second half.
“We ended up having a bit of a free run in the second half against Featherstone, which was the last time we played a Championship team.
“London didn’t do that so I suppose you’ve got to give them a lot of credit for that.
“They kept the fight up throughout the game and I’m not sure we kept the fight up throughout the game.
“There were some periods when we didn’t and there was some loose stuff.”
He added: “I am probably being over-critical, after we’ve come down here and put on a good score against a very competitive team, at the other side of the country on a surface we don’t normally play on.
“That’s got to be taken into account as well, so I’ve got mixed emotions.
“We have got to get the wins and make sure we secure our place in Super League next year.
“We have got to knuckle down and do it and one of the challenges was coming down to London and playing on a 3g surface, which we don’t normally play on and forgetting about all the baggage from this year and putting in a performance to get the win, which is what we did.”
Rhinos looked set for a big score when they led 36-12 after 53 minutes, but fell away after that.
McDermott added: “In review we’ve got to work out whether it was London that were really good and challenged and kept coming up with some plays, which I am keen to say it was, rather than us switching off.”
Rhinos lost captain Danny McGuire who suffered damage to an ankle – his fourth injury of the season – in the first half.
He was being assessed today and McDermott said: “I don’t think it’s mega-bad, but I think it’s a similar type of injury he had when he was out with his ankle last time.
“We are looking at some weeks there, I think.”
McDermott admitted a long lay-off would be a serious blow for Leeds.
“He has played less than half for us this year,” he said of the captain. “When he has played he has been great. It is great to have him in the team and he has worked really well with Rob [Burrow] this year
“When he has played we’ve been a great team and when he has not we look a bit clunky and disjointed. We certainly looked that when he went off.”