Leeds players didn’t need coaches’ input to beat Catalans

Leeds coach Brian McDermott has paid tribute to his players’ autonomy, after their hard-fought victory at Catalans Dragons at the weekend.

The game finished 38-22, but the Rhinos were made to work hard for their victory, with the lead changing hands several times.

But McDermott was delighted with the way the players managed to sort things out for themselves, without he or his staff having to intervene.

“Sometimes when Catalans are in that frame of mind, and they play the way they do, they’re hard to stop,” he told Rhinos TV.

“You get some of their halves on the end of some stuff, and the full-back there, and some of their outside backs, and they’re an unbelievably good team.

“We’ve been here a couple of times and been on the end of some really tough performances where you really can’t do much about it.

“So, huge credit to the Rhinos players.

“There was a moment there in the second half, when we took the lead and we were four points in front.

“A member of staff said, ‘What message would you like sending on the field?’

“I said, ‘Nothing, because they’ve got themselves out of a hole here. They’ve clearly got the answers, so let them go.

“So it was a tough old game, that one.”

McDermott felt both teams contributed to a great spectacle in attack, but that defence was also key to his team’s victory.

“I thought it was a great game,” he said.

“Catalans played really well. They will have their moments where they thought we were patch, as did we, but I thought it was a very good game.

“Two teams attacked really well, and at times defended really well.

“So I’m really pleased to get that win against a team that could have been very good today, had we not had been as resilient defensively.

“We had to defend extremely well to keep them out.”

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