McDermott hails Sinfield landmark

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Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield reached another landmark as he helped his side turn the tables on Hull with a 43-12 victory that takes them two points clear at the top of Super League.

The former England captain kicked 15 points to overhaul former Leigh, Warrington and Bradford stand-off John Woods’ total of 3,985 and move up to fourth place in rugby league’s all-time scoring list.

Sinfield is now only 55 points away from matching third-placed Gus Risman’s total of 4,050 but a good distance from Neil Fox, who holds the record with a mammoth 6,220 points.

“It’s big is that,” acknowledged Leeds coach Brian McDermott. “Kev’s notched off some landmarks in his time, although he has got some way to catch Neil Fox.”

Sinfield had to wait until the second half to open his account after the Rhinos trailed 12-0 at the break to a Hull side inspired by veteran stand-off Leon Pryce, whose two tries took his career total to 200.

The Rhinos looked out of it after an error-strewn first half but turned the game on its head with 43 unanswered points. Half-back Danny McGuire sparked the fightback with two tries on his 350th appearance while substitute Rob Burrow put the finishing touches to the performance with two late touchdowns.

“T hat’s an impressive stat, something we’re really pleased about,” McDermott said.

“Hull are almost unplayable when they are like that and we were waiting for the momentum to change, which didn’t happen in the first half.

“They didn’t make too many errors but, at the same time I didn’t think we were miles behind – that’s what the players spoke about at half-time.

“We certainly needed to change one or two things but it was never an attitude change.

“Once we were on the front foot, we were going to score some decent tries.”

Hull coach Lee Radford was forced to give a debut to teenage second-rower Jansin Turgut, the England academy captain, after Liam Watts pulled out in the warm-up with a hamstring injury.

With another three players from his original 19-man squad also succumbing to injury, i t also meant a second appearance for Australian centre Steve Michaels, just a week after it was announced in Queensland that an arrest warrant had been issued for him as part of an investigation into cocaine trafficking, and a lightweight bench which ultimately proved their undoing.

“We didn’t have a bench,” Radford said. “We had a full-back playing at nine and we had to give a kid a debut when someone pulled out in the warm-up. I was panicking because I didn’t know if we had time to make the change.

“We ran out of numbers. Gaz Ellis wouldn’t have normally played but he put his hand up.

“The first half was really pleasing, defensively the energy we showed was really good but we ran out of gas, simple as that.

“It was smart by them. They saved their interchanges for the second half. They knew we were patched up and they went for our jugular.”

Radford once more defended his decision to play Michaels, saying: “We’ve had no dialogue from anyone in Australia. I have no issues with it.”

McDermott said he felt his opposite number was right to select the former Gold Coast threequarter.

“Unless you can prove he’s guilty,” he said. “He’s been accused of it. I didn’t have a problem seeing his name on the team sheet.”

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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