Brian McDermott: Leeds’ performance could have been much better against St Helens

Leeds coach Brian McDermott thinks his sides performance was average as they became the first team to beat St Helens this season.

The score was 12-12 at the break but the Rhinos came out on top with a 28-20 victory of league leaders St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night.

And McDermott thought Leeds’ performance could have been better.

Speaking after the game, he said: “We could have done better stuff in offence and at times, it looked pretty clunky. I was disappointed with what we did with attack in the first half.

“I wouldn’t have given Matt Parcell the man of the match at all, but I think he made the difference. Some of his runs just before and after half time is the dynamic that you need sometimes.

“I’m paying tribute to an old coach of mine, Peter Fox, who used to say things like ‘if you are willing to tackle the opposition to death, you have got every chance of winning games’ and I thought that is what we did against Saints.

“I don’t think that performance or win is going to get us anywhere near the Grand Final or the Challenge Cup final but it put some steel in us.

“Saints weren’t great and I think if they had an eight out of ten performance then I don’t think we would have come away with the win.”

But McDermott was proud of his pack’s performance and effort in their win.

He added: “Mitch Garbutt didn’t play because of knee injury he sustained last week and we have also lost Nathaniel Peteru, Adam Cuthbertson and Keith Galloway.

“We can’t play our game without those big men and (Brad) Singleton and (Anthony) Mullally put a big shift in.

“Cam Smith and Mikolaj Oledzki came off the bench and did a really good job for us but I have got to pay tribute to Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Brett Delaney and Carl Ablett again. They got through so much work for us.”

Ashton Golding and Kallum Watkins both came off with head knocks and McDermott revealed that it is unlikely that the pair will face Castleford Tigers next week.

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