DEJECTED BOSS Brian McDermott admitted Leeds Rhinos have “work to do” after last night’s 31-24 home loss to Castleford Tigers.
Leeds trailed 18-0 inside the first quarter, but hit back to level the scores 10 minutes from time, before two errors allowed Tigers to snatch the points.
“In all honesty, I didn’t really think we had a foothold in that game, for the vast majority of it,” McDermott admitted. “I know we had some momentum for the final 25 minutes of the first half, but I didn’t think we were every convincing throughout it all, especially defensively.”
Rhinos have won only two of their seven league games since going six points clear at the top of First Utility Super League on April 17.
St Helens are a point adrift ahead of their home clash with Wigan Warriors – who are a further point back – tonight.
McDermott said he “wasn’t convinced” Leeds would hold on, even after they levelled the scores.
“That’s not self-doubt or anything, it’s just the way the game was going. It wasn’t a convincing performance from us.
“To come from 18-0 down we’ve got to take some credit that we found a way to come back against a Castleford team that’s in form, but we’ve got a bit of work to do.”
Yesterday was Tigers’ third successive victory and lifted them to fourth in the table – coach Daryl Powell’s team having lost only two of their last seven.
Powell had failed to beat Leeds in five previous attempts as Cas boss and he admitted he only believed the game was won once the final hooter had gone.
“Any win you get at Headingley is going to be a big one, but it was certainly edgy,” Powell said.
“We got off to an unbelievable start to be 18-0 up and we’ve done that three games on the spin now, rattled the opposition and then they’ve got a bit of a foothold and we’ve struggled.
“The reality is teams like Leeds are going to put you under a lot of pressure and score some points.
“That’s the nature of the way they do about the game. This was about guts, determination and a bit of composure at the end – and a bit of belief.”