BOSS BRIAN McDermott denied Leeds Rhinos are in a slump, after seeing their winless run extend to three games.
Rhinos remain two points clear at the top of First Utility Super League, but have not won since the 41-16 victory at St Helens last month which lifted them six points clear.
Yesterday’s 38-24 defeat at Widnes Vikings followed a home loss to Warrington Wolves and draw at Huddersfield Giants, but McDermott insisted: “We haven’t been horrible in each of those performances without a win, so I wouldn’t call it a slump.”
Widnes were second from bottom ahead of yesterday’s game and had lost their previous 11 games against Rhinos.
Leeds trailed 28-14 early in the second half, but narrowed the gap to just four points before an error allowed Widnes to make the game safe.
“I didn’t think we were great throughout the game,” McDermott admitted.
“Had we won, I was getting my mind ready to let the players know all is still not well. The result went the right way in the end, albeit through some dramatic circumstance at the end with the pass, but that’s not why we lost.
“We conceded some tries we were expected to defend. I won’t call them soft tries because they were well executed by Widnes, who capitalised on the field position.”
Stevie Ward twisted an ankle, on his return from a similar problem, but Ryan Hall (broken wrist) is due to see a specialist today and could make his return in Saturday’s Challenge Cup tie at home to Huddersfield Giants.