McDermott praise for Cuthbertson

Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Leeds coach Brian McDermott sang the praises of Australian prop Adam Cuthbertson after his man-of-the-match display helped the Rhinos to an impressive 26-14 win over Wigan.

The former Newcastle Knights forward, who is in his first season of Super League, scored his third try in six matches and was a handful throughout for the Warriors with his powerful running and skilful handling.

“He’s been very good since he came,” McDermott said. “He looks like he’s been playing with us for years, he’s settled in really well.

“He’s a ball player but he also has the ability to make metres and put a shoulder into the tackles.”

McDermott was loathe to discuss the prospects of Cuthbertson, whose father comes from Warrington, playing for England but the player himself left no doubt about his ambition.

“At the end of the day, whatever comes of it comes of it, I’m passionate about it and I’d love a call-up,” Cuthbertson told Sky Sports.

Teenage winger Ash Handley was also among the tryscorers for Leeds on his home debut and his promising performance helped offset the loss of England international Tom Briscoe with a shoulder injury that will require surgery.

“It’s a shame for him,” McDermott said. “He’s been one the best wingers in the competition.

“He needs an operation and will be out for a number of weeks but, if there is any positive, it’s the right end of the year. He will be back in plenty of time for back end of the season.

“It was a tough old game for Ash to be involved in but he ran his weight and shows promise.”

Stand-off Liam Sutcliffe, deputising for injured skipper Kevin Sinfield, Brad Singleton and Rob Burrow also scored tries for Leeds, who moved to within two points of Super League leaders St Helens with their fifth win from six matches.

“I thought we were all right in spells,” McDermott said. “The comforting thing was that, in terms of energy and attitude, I thought we were cracking.”

Wigan led 8-0 thanks to a try and two goals from Matty Smith and, after conceding three tries in an eight-minute spell, fought back with a Joe Burgess touchdown just before half-time.

However, they paid the price for indiscipline in the second half, with England second rower Liam Farrell sin-binned following a team warning, and were left still looking for their first away win of the season.

“I’m very angry, very frustrated and disappointed,” said Wigan coach Shaun Wane. “The best team won – they out-muscled us and controlled the ruck – but we gave too many penalties away.

“It’s a tough place to come when you get a fair share of the ball but even tougher when you give away 11 penalties and not get the ball from two restarts.

“We looked a real threat when we controlled the ball. The boys know what they are doing wrong, we’ve just not got the composure to fix it on the field.”

Published: Saturday 21st March 2015 by The News Editor

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