McDermott admits Leeds errors after intense reflection

Leeds coach Brian McDermott has acknowledged that he made some errors last season, during what was, by his own admission, the most challenging period of his coaching career.

An intensive review was conducted in the wake of 2016’s spluttering season, where the Rhinos ended up playing for Super League survival in the Middle Eights.

This came in direct and drastic contrast to their treble-winning exploits in 2015.

“We went through a season review, a pretty deep one, which is not easy to do,” McDermott told reporters.

“Every department gets examined, and it wasn’t pleasant to go through.

“Some bloke asks you some pertinent questions, but it’s always about what’s best for the team.

“Your ego takes a dent, but then you just put your ego to one side and say, ‘What’s best for the team?’

“Even though I know it’s all covered off, no one else does.

“So those questions needed to be asked, they needed to be answered.

“To go through that process, while it was difficult, has actually been a really good process to go through.

“We’ve come out of it great.”

McDermott is more than willing to take his own share of blame for 2016’s underachievement.

He is also keen to acknowledge, however, the part played by the flooding which rendered the club’s Kirkstall training facilities unusable during preseason last year.

“It is the most difficult coaching period I’ve been through,” he said.

“Obviously, I’ve got a good take on it now. At the time, when it all started to happen and started to unravel for us, you go through a period of thinking, ‘Well, what’s happened here?’

“Then you have a look at it and review it. The review was always going on, from round five or round six.

“We started to work out that Kirkstall had more of a brearing than we ever imagined it would have.

“Then it had such a bearing that we thought, ‘Bloody hell, this is all about Kirkstall, actually.’

“The injuries killed us, but the blokes that were coming in to replace the injured fellas hadn’t had a preseason.

“So, even though you know what’s going on, you’re still always after an answer.

“We needed to win games. It wasn’t about anybody’s development last year for the final 15 games, or people progressing, or people improving, or getting them to be better as people, or anything like that.

“We just needed to win games and not be relegated, and that was a really harsh environment to work in.

“On reflection, it was a tough thing to go through. It isn’t that we’re faultless, or I’m faultless.

“I made too many errors last year, I chased too many wins last year.

“I should have put the players back into preseason when they all came back from injury.

“I should have made them go through some tough moments, even though it would probably have cost us the result at the weekend, I should have made them do that.

“We come out of it in far better shape.”

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