McDermott pleased with play off preparations

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott praised the performance of referee James Child after his side emerged from a thrilling derby at Huddersfield with a 31-24 win.

One call in particular stood out for McDermott – the decision to allow Ryan Hall's second try on 66 minutes to stand despite claims of a knock-on.

Carl Ablett made for the line, but was held up and had the ball knocked out of his hands by a Giants player, with Hall picking it up and diving over.

The Huddersfield fans were incensed, thinking Ablett rather than one of their own defenders dropped the ball, and that it had gone forward.

But a pleased McDermott said: "The whole world was calling for a knock-on. But the referee didn't buckle under the pressure. He made the correct decision.

"I thought the referee gave a very strong performance. He had some tough decisions to make, and the Huddersfield crowd are very passionate.

"I think they were calling at one stage for the hot dog seller to be given offside. It would have been easy for a referee to buckle under that kind of pressure."

He added of the game: "Huddersfield did very well to come back from 12-0 down to lead at the break. But after that, our defence was magnificent. We repelled everything they threw at us."

Leeds will now face Hull in the play-offs, and McDermott said: "The game today was ideal preparation. Hull will be ready for us. They'll be smarting from their defeat on Friday (against Warrington)."

Hall's double and a Jamie Jones-Buchanan try sealed victory for Leeds after Huddersfield had gone in front through touchdowns from Michael Lawrence, Luke Robinson and Larne Patrick.