Brian McDermott disappointed with Leeds collapse in World Club Challenge

Published: Sunday 21st February 2016 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Brian McDermott expressed his disappointment at Leeds’ second-half collapse which resulted in a 38-4 defeat to North Queensland Cowboys and a 3-0 World Club Series whitewash for Super League – but insists the competition must stay.

The Rhinos brushed off the absence of seven injured senior players to hold the NRL champions to a 4-4 half-time score in the annual World Club Challenge at Headingley but were swept aside after the break, with Johnathan Thurston leading a scoring spree of 34 points without reply.

“It was a big moment in the game to keep them to a single try but it probably took a bit of juice out of us,” McDermott said.

“We needed a foothold in the early stages of the second half but we were poor for the first 10 or 15 minutes which allowed Queensland to be as good as they could, which I thought was very good.

“I thought the physicality it took its toll. T hey applied so much pressure and we started to drop off, we didn’t match them physically.

“It’s difficult when they get a roll on and they pretty much shut down everything we threw at them, although I thought we could have asked a few more questions of them.”

With Leeds eventually going the way of St Helens and Wigan, who were hammered by Sydney Roosters and Brisbane respectively earlier in the series, the NRL clubs enjoyed an aggregate 118-28 success to follow up last year’s 3-0 clean sweep.

That will cast some doubt over plans to further expand the tournament but McDermott remains a big fan of the concept.

“We’re really disappointed but we gave it a really good go,” he said. “We were not good enough and there are some things we need to go away and do better.

“People will say it’s a whitewash and question whether we should carry on with it but there is some real good merit in this.

“That’s how you learn and, should we be involved in this next year, we’ll give it an even better go.”

Leeds’ Australian forward Mitch Garbutt became only the second player to be sent off in a World Club Challenge – Ron Gibbs (Manly) was the first in 1987 against Wigan – for punching Cowboys front rower James Tamou, who was sin-binned for the initial offence on the Rhinos’ Keith Galloway.

The incident will be judged by the Rugby Football League’s match-review panel on Monday and Garbutt, who could face a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, received little sympathy from his coach.

McDermott said: “There was some provocation but it was silly, he got passionate in the second half.”

Cowboys captain Thurston was the match-winner for his side with a try and five goals to take the Graham Murray medal as man of the match as North Queensland became world club champions for the first time.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Cowboys coach Paul Green. “In terms of the club and its history, it’s a proud moment. We won our first NRL premiership last year and they made the most of their opportunity tonight.

“A lot was spoken about the players they had out but we knew they would turn up physically and I was really proud of the way we hung in there and in particular controlled the second half.

“Once we got our nose in front in the second half, we controlled things pretty well. ”

Published: Sunday 21st February 2016 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search