THE RESULT was a blow, but new Leeds Rhinos boss Kevin Sinfield says he knows exactly what he is facing after yesterday’s 42-10 derby thrashing at Castleford Tigers.
It was Rhinos’ eighth successive Betfred Super League defeat and they remain ninth in the table, one point outside the top-eight, with only three rounds remaining in the regular season.
“I’m disappointed, but the best team won,” said Sinfield, who took charge for the first time in his new role as Rhinos’ director of rugby.
“The damage was done in the first half, it wasn’t the day to be coughing the ball up coming out of your own end, but I’ve got the full picture now; I know exactly where we’re at. We started to change some small things over the last couple of days and we’ll continue that.”
Sinfield has taken over from Brian McDermott who was sacked a week ago, with James Lowes becoming first-team coach. The former Leeds captain insisted: “I knew it was a big job otherwise Brian would probably still be here.
“There’s a bit to do. I have to say I thought their effort in that heat was good. We’ve to make some small changes and start doing the tough stuff a bit more.”
Sinfield is not expecting any signings before the transfer deadline at the end of this month.
“Personnel-wise we have who we have,” he said. “I believe we have enough talent in that group to make a fist of things at least until the end of the year, but there’s some stuff off the field we need to change.
“I don’t want to say too much, but we just need to make some small changes with how we operate and how we go about stuff. We’ll be far better for it when we do it. I think the players realise we have to make some changes. We’re ninth for a reason. We have got to be better.”
Tigers’ win lifted them to third. The pre-match focus was on Rhinos’ new backroom team, but Castleford coach Daryl Powell said: “We had to make sure the story tomorrow was us. I made that point to the boys before. The conditions were really awkward, it was pretty hot and Leeds came to play.
“We were 10-4 down so it took a lot of composure for us to get out of it, but I thought in the second half we were really good.”