McDermott: Full marks for trying

PA Sport
Kevin Sinfield's late penalty and drop-goal saw Leeds through
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Kevin Sinfield's late penalty and drop-goal saw Leeds through

Coach Brian McDermott put Leeds' 25-24 win over Hull KR down to the change in attitude his players showed in the second half of their Stobart Super League clash on Sunday.

The Rhinos trailed 18-6 at the break but three tries in seven minutes turned the game on its head. The home side regained the lead briefly later in the game, but the experienced head of Kevin Sinfield got Leeds over the finishing line with a penalty to tie the score and a drop-goal to win the game eight minutes from time.

McDermott said: "We weren't good enough in the first half. Hull KR played really well and defended their line, whereas we didn't. We weren't miles off, but we weren't good enough. We changed some things at half-time and the change of attitude was the main thing."

He went on: "It was more from the players at half-time as they took charge of things. Hull KR didn't go away after we scored the three tries in seven minutes. They still had a say in the game and credit to them."

McDermott was grateful his side were able to turn things round but wished they didn't have to dig deep to win a close game.

"I hoped we did that from the start and I'm hesitant to be too happy with that win," he added. "The second half encouraged me but we should have done that in the first half. We just missed too many tackles on our goal line, plain and simple. There's nothing technical in that."

Rovers were looking to make it back-to-back wins after their success at Widnes a week earlier. However, their coach Craig Sandercock was disappointed his side were unable to defeat the defending champions despite holding a 12-point lead at the break.

"We thought we were in with a good shot against a full-strength Leeds side," Sandercock said. "To come so close and yet so far is very disappointing. Leeds don't have the myriad of international players for nothing.

"They are a class side and if you give them a sniff, they will take it. Unfortunately we gave away a penalty on tackle five and then we didn't touch the ball for the next 15 minutes.

"It was a tough initiation but Leeds got the jump on us at the start of the second half. I'm disappointed in the overall performance of the referee and we'll leave it at that."

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