Leeds’ head coach Brian McDermott believes the race to finish top of the Super League is over after the Rhinos lost 23-12 at home to Castleford on Friday.
The result moved the Tigers seven points clear at the standings and McDermott says that securing top spot is a foregone conclusion for Daryl Powell’s side.
“I think Cas have got that (League Leaders’ Shield),” said McDermott. “It’s maybe not in the cupboard but the cupboard doors are open and waiting.
“I’m really proud of a group of men that keep showing up for each other and defending as they did. But I couldn’t be any more disappointed with what Castleford didn’t have to defend.
“I don’t think we’ll be as poor as that again this year with the ball.”