Leeds Rhinos’ returning players were saluted by boss Brian McDermott after the champions closed their home league campaign with a 20-12 win over Catalan Dragons.
Rhinos’ victory sealed fourth place in Super League and they are now level on points with Wigan Warriors, who they visit in Thursday’s final regular season game.
McDermott said: “We have to be careful of demanding a huge performance from Danny McGuire and Ryan Bailey and Mitch Achurch, who have been out for a long period of time. Joel Moon has been missing for a few weeks and we’re still getting up to speed with a few individuals.
“We weren’t great, you can’t get excited about that performance, but Catalan were really strong and we toughed it out. There aren’t that many classic games towards the back end of the year, it is just about doing what you have to do to get the result.”
The coach added: “Mitch has had very limited running in the build-up and because of his infection Ryan hasn’t been able to sweat for the past month.
“It was a gamble playing them, but we need to get them game time.There’s more to it than just saying it was a scrappy performance.”