Leeds coach Brian McDermott admits that being in the Middle 8s this year for the defending Super League champions is a dent to the club’s pride.
The Rhinos are confirmed for the Qualifiers now after their drop goal loss yesterday to Widnes.
“It’s a dent to the pride absolutely. It’s not where we want to be,” McDermott said.
“There are certain things which have happened this year which are out of our control, Kirkstall and the injuries have played a part, but there are some things along the way we’ve had to do better.
“If you take into context what [the Widnes loss] meant it’s a very tough one.
“Everyone is highly disappointed and there’s some anger and frustration – which we get – but I thought that was a good performance.
“I thought we defended really well.”
Leeds started strongly against the Vikings and had a 16-10 lead at half-time.
They went 22-10 in front in the second half but couldn’t close out the game, falling to a Widnes comeback.
“I thought we played well for a lot of it,” McDermott said.
“Attacking their tryline in the second half we were very panicky. We’re still trying to be as good as we can be.”