Headingley Carnegie Insight

In this weeks edition of Headingley Carnegie Insight Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott looks ahead to this Sunday’s clash with Huddersfield Giants.

How pleased were you with the team’s performance against Wakefield?

It was a pretty big week, firstly to review the Wembley game, which no matter how you cut it was going to be a tough one and then to get through the working week and make sure we were ready for Wakefield wasn’t an easy task.  Both emotionally and mentally the players weren’t in a great place on the Monday after Wembley so you have to give them credit and I was really pleased with our performance and the scoreline.

What are your thoughts ahead of the Huddersfield game?

We face a very strong team who know how to play at home so the task is a big one this week but if we are to progress anywhere in this competition then we need to go to the Galpharm and do a job.  Danny Brough is a threat, but they have players like Luke Robinson and others that we need to take care of.  I think collectively as a group they play really strong and therefore collectively we have to be as strong.

How are the team shaping up?

Kallum Watkins has had his knee looked at, he developed some swelling going into the Challenge Cup Final and afterwards so we had to rest him for the Wakefield game.  Rob Burrow’s rib is not quite what it needs to be yet but we are confident it will get there. 
We are trying to secure that fifth spot and I think we are in good shape at the moment. I am guessing there will be a few teams that don’t want us in the play offs, given the season we have had and the determination we have shown in recent games and how cohesive we looked against Wakefield on Friday. We have had a lot of challenges this year and as a group the players are really up and their energy levels are really good at training and we are ready for the challenges ahead.