McDermott: Changes not a valid excuse

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott was forced to make a number of changes ahead of the match against Castleford but denied that was the reason behind their defeat.

Jordan Lilley was recalled from his loan spell at Bradford to cover for Rob Burrow, who was taken ill with a stomach bug late in the day.

Tom Briscoe was also out along with Stevie Ward, Carl Ablett, Brett Ferres and Mitch Garbutt.

The Rhino were thrashed 66-10 by Castleford at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

“Whilst that’s not our starting 13 I don’t think our next cabs off the rank should get beat like that on any level,” McDermott told Sky Sports.

“We should be able to play our 19s against Castleford and not get beat by that score so it’s not a great day.”

McDermott was critical of his side’s inability to make the most of the few opportunities they were presented in the first half.

“I thought we showed some spells in the first half in attack,” he said.

“We had a foothold in the game to a degree in little spells but then we go and make an error whether that be offensive or defensive and Castleford just absolutely punished us and were ruthless.”

McDermott said it was inexcusable for any Leeds team to get thrashed by such a big margin but was full of praise for the Tigers.

“I’m not going to tell you that Castleford weren’t great,” he said.

“They were brilliant and that’s probably the best I’ve seen them play in Super League.

“It was a fantastic performance from them.”

The Rhinos have a lot of work to do to ensure they don’t replicate the form of last season, according to McDermott.

“I don’t think you can put it to a one-off when you concede so many points,” he said.

“If it had been a 40-odd score line you might have been able to say that but there were some worrying signs there that we have to stamp out and eradicate.

“We need to make sure that ugly version never shows itself ever again.”

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